An investigation has revealed that a major fire at a takeaway in Stoke-on-Trent was caused due to a fault with the fryer.
"There have been many instances in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire where smoke alarms have saved people’s lives. It is vital that all homes are protected and that residents have a planned escape route, particularly in flats which only have one door for people to exit from."
Station Manager Ed Case
The blaze at Hamza Fried Chicken in High Street, Tunstall, started in the kitchen before spreading to the flat above, where there were five adults.
There were no smoke alarms in the apartment. Luckily the owner of the takeaway was alerted to the situation by a passing taxi driver at around 2am on August 22. He then contacted the occupants of the flat and they left the building immediately.
Firefighters are now warning tenants and landlords about the risks of not having working smoke alarms fitted in their properties.
Station Manager Ed Case, who led the incident, said: "I cannot stress what a lucky escape the tenants of this flat had. It was such a co-incidence that the taxi driver, who happened to know the owner of the premises passed the building when he did - the situation could have been far more serious and even life-threatening had the occupants not been alerted when they did. As it was, nobody was hurt but the damage to the shop and flat was severe.
"There have been many instances in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire where smoke alarms have saved people’s lives. It is vital that all homes are protected and that residents have a planned escape route, particularly in flats which only have one door for people to exit from. Fire alarms take minutes to install but can have a long-lasting effect.
"We will be working closely with local businesses that have accommodation above, offering advice and fitting smoke detectors as part of our free Home Fire Risks checks. I would urge anyone who has not booked one yet to contact us as soon as possible."
HFRCs are available free of charge to residents of Staffordshire or Stoke-on-Trent. People can arrange for crew members or trained technicians to visit their property at a time that is convenient for them.
They will speak to residents about safety in the home and, using this information, try to identify and minimise risk from fire. If a property does not have working smoke alarms, the Service will fit them.
To book a HFRC call Freephone 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp