Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people about the dangers of standing too close to domestic fires, following a fatal house fire on Saturday in Weston under Lizard.
The police alerted the fire and rescue service to the incident at 4.36pm on Saturday after they had received a call from a neighbour saying the windows of the property were blacked out and they couldn't raise the occupier. Three fire crews from Brewood, Codsall and Gnosall were sent to the incident, which involved a cottage on Weston Cross Roads.
"Many people don’t realise that some clothing materials can easily catch alight and the fire very quickly spreads."
Peter Dartford, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
When crews arrived at the incident the fire was already out, however they discovered one 58 year old female in the living room of the property showing no life signs.
There was smoke damage throughout the cottage, however fire damage was restricted to the living room area. A fire investigation has established that the fire was caused accidentally, by the lady's clothing catching alight on the open fire.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "Sadly this is the second fatal fire this year caused by clothing catching alight on a fire. Many people don't realise that some clothing materials can easily catch alight and the fire very quickly spreads. This lady had not received a home fire risk check from us and she was therefore unable to benefit from a fireguard or any other safety equipment or advice, which we offer free of charge as part of the service.
"This lady lived alone in a remote rural location and we know there must be many other people in a similar situation – unfortunately though we can’t help these people if we don’t know about them. If you do live alone or you have family, friends or neighbours who live alone, particularly if they are elderly, then get in touch with us. All it takes is one FREEPHONE phone call to 0800 0241 999 and we can arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time. There really is no excuse, if you care for your family, friends and neighbours you’ll make that phone call today – it could just save their life!"