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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Don't hesitate - dial 999 immediately

20/02/2015

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Firefighters are urging people to dial 999 as soon as blaze breaks out after an incident in Staffordshire Moorlands was left unreported for half an hour.

"We often find that older people in particular tell us that they haven’t contacted us when they first become aware of a fire as they don’t want to trouble us. I would like to reassure them that that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is our job to tackle fires and it is vital that people contact us immediately to report an incident." 

Donna Broadhead - Prevent Manager for the north of the county

Crews were alerted to the chimney fire at 1.30pm yesterday but when they arrived at the house on Rudyard Road in Heaton the residents told them that it had started at 1pm.

The Service is calling on people never to hesitate in the event of an emergency and to contact it immediately.

Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the north of the county, said: “We often find that older people in particular tell us that they haven’t contacted us when they first become aware of a fire as they don’t want to trouble us. I would like to reassure them that that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is our job to tackle fires and it is vital that people contact us immediately to report an incident.

“The couple in this case had an extremely lucky escape. If the fire had been left, it could quickly have got out of hand, causing at the very least severe damage to their home and at worst, injury of loss or life. Just three breaths of toxic smoke is enough to kill a person so time really is of the essence.”

Firefighters from Leek used specialist equipment to extinguish the blaze before carrying out a Home Fire Risk Check in the property. They left the incident at 3.21pm.

Residents who are concerned about fire safety in the home of an older or vulnerable person are being encouraged to refer them for a free Home Fire Risk Check.

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 also fit free smoke alarms in homes that do not already have them or will replace detectors if they are installed but don’t work.

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

For advice on chimney safety visit http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/2333.asp