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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Safety warning following fatal fire

25/02/2016

Firefighters are warning people never to leave items on top of cooker hobs following a fatal incident at a Bentilee flat.

"The fire investigation has found that this was a tragic accident in which Mr Wardenier sadly lost his life. It is thought that he may have been using the cooker hob as an extension of his work surface which is why he had placed the toaster on top of it. The double oven had been turned on and we believe that Mr Wardenier mistakenly turned the hob on instead of the appliance’s main temperature gauge."

Donna Broadhead - Prevent Manager for the north

Crews from Hanley and Longton attended the Stirling Close blaze at 3.14pm on Saturday.

The resident, 60-year-old David Wardenier, was rescued from the property and given CPR at the scene. He was taken to hospital where sadly, he later died.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has revealed that a plastic toaster had been placed on top of the hob which was switched on.

It is thought that Mr Wardenier had accidently turned on the hob rather than the oven’s temperature gauge. Smoke detectors were fitted in the property and activated.

Prevent Manager for the north of the county Donna Broadhead said: "The fire investigation has found that this was a tragic accident in which Mr Wardenier sadly lost his life. It is thought that he may have been using the cooker hob as an extension of his work surface which is why he had placed the toaster on top of it. The double oven had been turned on and we believe that Mr Wardenier mistakenly turned the hob on instead of the appliance’s main temperature gauge.

"We would urge people never to leave anything on top of the cooker hob, whether it is an electrical device, tea towel or oven glove, as it is so easy to unknowingly switch one of the rings on. It is also vital, and could save your life, that if you become aware of a fire in your home, to get out immediately, stay out and call 999. Don’t feel tempted to try to tackle an incident yourself, leave that to the professionals."

Firefighters wore four breathing apparatus and used one hose reel jet to tackle the blaze. The last crew left the scene at 6.57pm.

For more information on how to stay safe in your home visit: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/HomeSafety.asp

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Home Fire Risk Checks where members of the team visit people in their homes, offering safety advice and fitting smoke alarms.

The freephone number to ring to request a check is 0800 0241 999 and a mutually convenient time will be set for the visit to take place.