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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters praise neighbour's quick response

26/02/2015

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Firefighters have praised the potentially life-saving actions of a Cannock resident who reported a blaze in the home of a vulnerable neighbour.

"This was a potentially very serious incident which could have had a far worse outcome if the neighbour had not heard the smoke alarms going off and acted straight away. It proves without a shadow of a doubt just how vital it is to have working smoke detectors in your home. Luckily, our crews had fitted two new smoke alarms in the house just a fortnight before this incident occurred." 

Station Manager Graham Mills

The resident immediately dialled 999 when they heard the smoke alarms activating in the Columbian Drive house.

Crews from Cannock wore four breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets to tackle the living room fire which was caused by a portable heater.

The occupant suffered smoke inhalation during the incident but was out of the house when firefighters arrived at 9.25pm on Sunday. They left the scene at 1.29am the following day.

Station Manager Graham Mills said the neighbour’s quick actions may have saved the man’s life.

He added: “This was a potentially very serious incident which could have had a far worse outcome if the neighbour had not heard the smoke alarms going off and acted straight away. It proves without a shadow of a doubt just how vital it is to have working smoke detectors in your home. Luckily, our crews had fitted two new smoke alarms in the house just a fortnight before this incident occurred.

“It also highlights the importance of looking out for any older or vulnerable friends, relatives or neighbours who may unknowingly be putting themselves at risk by using outdated or faulty electrical items, as in this case. We would urge anyone who has concerns about fire safety in the home of someone they know to contact us so that we can carry out a free Home Fire Risk Check at a time that is convenient to the resident.”

People who are concerned about fire safety in their home, or in the property of someone they know, can book a free Home Fire Risk Check which is carried out by crew members or trained technicians. They 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. The Service can replace single point responders in fuse boxes if necessary.

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