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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire Guts House in Lichfield

Lichfield firefighters tackled an accidental fire which gutted a house in Chapel Lane.

Two appliances attended the blaze which broke out at the detached house at 6.28pm on Thursday. Investigations revealed the cause of the fire was smoking materials.

"People should not underestimate the threats associated with smoking in the home if cigarettes are not extinguished properly."

Rob Horton, Watch Manager

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the flames using one hose reel jet. They were assisted by crews who employed one main water jet. A thermal imaging camera was used to search the building.

The occupants, a 50-year-old man and his mother, spent Thursday night at a relative's house after the property was declared to be uninhabitable following the fire. Crews returned to the house the following morning to investigate potential hot spots.

Watch Manager, Rob Horton, said: "The fire, which started upstairs, has completely gutted two bedrooms. "It appears the gentleman had been smoking in his room and then left for work at about 5.30pm," said Rob.

"Upon noticing smoke the woman rang her grandson who promptly attended. Seeing smoke coming from the man’s bedroom he telephoned the fire service.

"The bedroom has been severely damaged and the landing has also been affected with smoke damage spreading throughout the first floor. An upstairs window has also been shattered."

Firefighters returned to the property at 2am on Friday again at 10.30am to carry out a full inspection. This included a full Home Fire Risk Check though the property did already have two working smoke alarms fitted.

"We have two additional concerns over this incident," added Rob.

"Fires caused by cigarettes and smoking materials is something we take very seriously and we have numerous campaigns in place to reduce the number of these incidents from taking place.

"People should not underestimate the threats associated with smoking in the home if cigarettes are not extinguished properly. While property can be replaced a life cannot.

"Also, if you come across a fire please telephone the emergency services immediately. Do not ring friends or relatives as that will give the fire a chance to take hold."