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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Birthday Blues as Candles Smoke

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is once again advocating the importance of 'life-saving' smoke alarms after a family birthday party in Newcastle ended with eight people fleeing the property.

Birthday cake candles thrown in a rubbish bin at a house on Longclough Road in Waterhayes started a fire at the property at 4.30pm on Saturday.

"Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service cannot stress enough how important smoke alarms are. Simply put they save lives."

Rob Barber, Assistant Area Commander

Two appliances from Newcastle attended the incident. On arrival they were greeted by thick black smoke bellowing from the building. Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze using one hose reel jet.

Crews then carried out an extensive Home Fire Risk Check on the house after discovering it had no working smoke alarms.

Assistant Area Commander for Newcastle, Rob Barber, said: "The cause of the fire was put down to birthday candles, the sort which reignite after being blown out. The crews discovered smoke detectors had been fitted but the batteries had been removed.

"Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service cannot stress enough how important smoke alarms are. Simply put they save lives.

"Statistics show you are twice as likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm. One simple call will protect you and your loved ones and give you peace of mind."

Watch Manager, Neil Broad, said: "The crews were very proactive and knocked on the doors of adjacent houses to find out which had smoke detectors and which hadn't.

"They have now arranged return visits to all those properties without smoke alarms to fit them with fully operational smoke detectors. There were three houses within a 40-metre radius which require our attention."