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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Severe fire caused by discarded cigarette

24/03/2014

A blaze at a bungalow in Wedges Mills, near Cannock, started after a discarded cigarette ignited a bed, a fire investigation has established.

"Following a fire investigation we believe that this incident was an accident, caused by a cigarette being dropped onto a bed in a downstairs room. Fires such as this spread rapidly and, as in this case, can reap devastating consequences." 

Carmel Warren - Prevent Manager for the west of the county

Firefighters attended the incident on Wood Lane on the afternoon of March 12.

They rescued a female occupant and a dog. The lady was given first aid at the scene before being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham by ambulance.

Carmel Warren, Prevent Manager for the west of the county, said: "Following a fire investigation we believe that this incident was an accident, caused by a cigarette being dropped onto a bed in a downstairs room. Fires such as this spread rapidly and, as in this case, can reap devastating consequences.

"We would always discourage people from smoking inside but if you do, do this, ensure that the cigarette is completely extinguished. Also, think about the dangers of drinking alcohol while smoking in the house as your reactions will not be as quick, should an emergency occur.

"I would urge everyone to ensure their property is fitted with working smoke alarms and that they are tested on a weekly basis. If you have not had a free Home Fire Risk Check, book one as soon as possible so that any potential risks and solutions can be identified by firefighters and trained technicians."

Firefighters, Community Safety Officers and Fire Service Volunteers have had a high profile presence in Wedges Mills in the wake of the fire, reassuring residents and offering free Home Fire Risk Checks (HFRC).

During the HFRC visits, crew members or trained technicians check every room in the property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.

People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting
www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp