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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Three Men Cheat Death

Three Lichfield men cheated death after two separate fires in the space of 24 hours threatened a tragic start to Christmas week.

A 51-year-old man whose duvet caught fire as he slept in the front room of his Meadowbrook Road home was only saved after being woken by the sound of his asthma inhaler exploding in the blaze.

"There is no doubt the working smoke alarm saved the occupants of this flat."

Watch Manager, Steve Whitehouse

Meanwhile Shenstone House on Hobs Road had to be evacuated after fire engulfed a flat there. Firefighters say the property’s smoke alarm saved the lives of the two occupants.

The men called 999 after waking at 4.03am on Saturday to find the flat full of smoke.

Watch Manager, Steve Whitehouse, said: "There is no doubt the working smoke alarm saved the occupants of this flat by giving them an early warning about the accidental fire in the lounge area.

"The consequences could have been severe, if they had not taken the prevention measures they had already taken by fitting a working smoke alarm.

"The cause is now being investigated and the two young men who live there are helping us.

"They were asleep when the fire started and were woken by the smoke alarm to find the rooms full of smoke.

"They left their flat and triggered the building’s main alarm. As a result of this all the residents at Shenstone House were evacuated."

After extinguishing the blaze, the two crews from Lichfield who attended then completed a Home Fire Risk Check within the property and fitted an extra smoke alarm in the lounge.

Less than 24 hours later, at 3.30am on Sunday, firefighters were called to a blaze at a house in Meadowbrook Road.

The 51-year-old male occupant had fallen asleep in front of an electric fire.

"His duvet caught fire but it was only when his asthma inhaler exploded he woke up," said Steve.

"For whatever reason, he had taken the property’s smoke alarm down. This is not something we would ever advise people to do. Anyone who struggles to fit a smoke alarm can call us and we will provide and fit one free of charge ourselves."

The man managed to get out of the house but was taken to hospital suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.

"If his inhaler had not exploded and woken him we could have been dealing with a fatal incident," added Steve.

One appliance from Lichfield and another from Chase Terrace attended the incident. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the severe fire which gutted the house.