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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

House fire sparked by halogen heater

26/04/2017

Sneyd Avenue fire
Sneyd Avenue fire

A fire investigation into a serious house fire in Newcastle-under-Lyme found it was caused by a heater.

“The damage is extensive and shows just how quickly a fire can develop. This is also an important reminder not to place heaters near to other furniture or curtains, and to never leave them switched on and unattended.”

Neil Pedersen, Fire Investigator

The incident, which was attended by four fire appliances, left the house in Sneyd Avenue with significant fire damage to the first floor and roof.

Crews were called to the blaze at around 10:48am on Saturday April 22. Thankfully, the occupants were safely out of their home when firefighters arrived.

Appliances attended from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley, Kidsgrove and Longton and crews used two breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and two main jets connected to local hydrants to tackle the fire.

It took until around 12:30pm to extinguish the external flames and crews then entered the home to focus their efforts on the remaining hotspots within.

An investigation into the cause of the fire found it started accidentally in a study on the first floor. It’s believed that a halogen heater was left on next to an office chair, which ignited from the heat.

Neil Pedersen, who completed the fire investigation, said: “Upon crews’ arrival the fire was fully established on the first floor and burning through the roof.

“Initially we used two hose reel jets but due to the strength and size of the fire main jets were needed to make good progress in extinguishing the flames.

“Thankfully, when the occupants smelt burning they realised there was a fire upstairs and were quickly able to leave their home before the smoke affected them. They’re very lucky to have escaped unscathed.

“It is so important that large homes have smoke alarms fitted throughout to give an early warning. If this home had adequate smoke alarms installed the occupants would have been alerted to the fire much sooner and the fire damage may not have been so severe.

“The damage is extensive and shows just how quickly a fire can develop. This is also an important reminder not to place heaters near to other furniture or curtains, and to never leave them switched on and unattended.”

For information about smoke alarms and staying safe and well in your home ring the Service’s Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999 or visit our website by clicking here.