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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

House fire sparks safety warning

05/06/2014

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Firefighters are urging residents to look out for vulnerable and older people following a house fire in Lichfield.

"I would urge people to keep an eye on older and vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. We have a growing population of older people and many of them have physical disabilities or illnesses such as dementia which can put them at a greater risk. Anyone who is worried about an older person can get in touch with us and we will carry out a Home Fire Risk Check which, as in this particular incident, can involve fitting smoke alarms if there aren’t any or replacing ones that are broken." 

Station Manager Graham Mills

The blaze broke out in the living room of the Charnwood Close property when an older lady mistakenly plugged in a halogen heater thinking it was the television plug.

When the occupant and her husband smelt smoke, they searched for the fire but when they couldn’t find it, called 999. There were no smoke alarms in the property but firefighters fitted some following the incident.

One crew from Lichfield and one from Tamworth arrived at the house at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 1. They discovered that the heater had caught fire which had then spread to the settee in front of it.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to tackle the blaze before leaving the property at 3.15pm.

Station Manager Graham Mills said: “This couple had a very lucky escape. There were no smoke alarms in the property so if the occupants had not smelt the smoke, the consequences could have been far worse.

“I would urge people to keep an eye on older and vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. We have a growing population of older people and many of them have physical disabilities or illnesses such as dementia which can put them at a greater risk. Anyone who is worried about an older person can get in touch with us and we will carry out a Home Fire Risk Check which, as in this particular incident, can involve fitting smoke alarms if there aren’t any or replacing ones that are broken.”

To book a free HFRC 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp.

Crew members or technicians will visit people in their homes, check to see if their smoke alarms are working and, if they are not, they will fit a new one. They will also talk residents through possible escape routes and check for potential hazards.