Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to ‘Get out, stay out and dial 999’ if they have fire, following an incident in Rugeley yesterday.
“We never encourage people to try to put out a fire, the message is simple – get out, stay out and dial 999."
Station Manager Alan Snell
One woman suffered minor burns to her hand as a result of the fire, which involved tea lights that had caught light to some curtains. The incident was on Taylors Lane, Rugeley shortly before 5pm and was attended by crews from Rugeley and Cannock.
Station Manager Alan Snell said: “The tea lights were burning in the window and caught light to the closed curtains. The woman, in the room at the time, then unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire before leaving the property.
“We never encourage people to try to put out a fire, the message is simple – get out, stay out and dial 999. People don’t realise just how quickly a fire can spread and how toxic the smoke can be. It’s not worth the risk of trying to tackle it - sadly we have had occasions in the past where people have attempted to put out a fire or have returned to the property for valuables and there has not been a happy ending.
“This fire was preventable; we’d urge people to never position candles near to curtains or at this time of year, decorations. Also candles should always be placed in holders and on flat surfaces.”
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire using a hose reel jet and used a specialist fan to ventilate the property, which was heavily smoke logged. The woman was treated by paramedics at the scene and had to temporarily move out of the property due to the extent of the smoke damage.
Crews left the incident at 6.20pm and then posted leaflets through the doors of neighbouring properties and streets, urging people to book a free Home Fire Risk Check (HRFC) on 0800 0241 999.
During a HFRC, firefighters or trained technicians visit every room in a resident’s home and look for potential fire hazards. They also speak to people about their everyday behaviour in the home and, using this information, try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.
Escape routes are discussed and planned out so that people know what to do should a fire break out and free smoke alarms can be fitted if necessary. All members of staff carry an identity card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.