A blaze which caused severe damage to a detached house in Perton was started after a cigarette ignited a waste paper basket.
"This was a severe fire and the resident had an incredibly lucky escape, the consequences could easily have been far more serious. We would urge people never to leave lit cigarettes alone and to always ensure that they are completely out when finished with."
Codsall Station Manager Derek Stoddart
The fire broke out at the Goodrich Avenue property at 12.50pm yesterday. The resident had left a lit cigarette in an ashtray in the upstairs bedroom in order to answer a phone call elsewhere in the house.
A fire investigation has found that the cigarette fell out of the ashtray and into the bin which quickly set alight.
The bedroom door was open and the flames spread throughout the first floor causing severe damage to the other rooms and the roof. There were no smoke alarms upstairs.
Sometime later, the occupant was downstairs when she noticed plumes of smoke outside the house and went to investigate. She then realised the fire was coming from her bedroom.
One crew from Codsall and two from the West Midlands tackled the fire. They wore four breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze before leaving the property at approximately 15.10pm.
The incident has sparked a safety warning from the Service which is calling on people to ensure that smoking materials are completely extinguished and are never left alone when lit.
Codsall Station Manager Derek Stoddart said: "This was a severe fire and the resident had an incredibly lucky escape, the consequences could easily have been far more serious. We would urge people never to leave lit cigarettes alone and to always ensure that they are completely out when finished with.
"It is also vital to shut doors to prevent the spread of fire and I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have working smoke alarms fitted. Taking these simple steps could literally save your life and your family’s life."
Crews are currently in Goodrich Avenue and the surrounding streets encouraging people to book a free Home Fire Risk Check.
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. They can also fit new smoke alarms.
To book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp