Monday, 8 October 2012

Mum escapes Hastings house fire

Hastings firefighters are warning of the dangers of faulty electrical goods, as well as the importance of working smoke alarms, following a fire in a Victorian terraced property.

A mum-of-three was woken after a concerned neighbour telephoned her to say that she had spotted smoke billowing from an upstairs window at her house in Hughenden Road, Hastings, yesterday (Sunday 7th October) at 4.20pm.

The mum went to investigate and opened the upstairs bedroom door to discover that a fire had broken out. She immediately vacated the property and switched off the electricity supply as she left. Luckily her three children were not in the property at the time of the fire.

There was no working smoke alarm on the top level of the house and only on the first two floors.

Four fire engines – one from The Ridge and Bohemia Road, one from Bexhill, one from Battle and Bexhill’s Incident Command Unit arrived at the scene.

Crews entered the building wearing breathing apparatus and used firefighting foam (1-in-7 foam) to quickly knock down the fire and prevent it from spreading to the attic.

The Aerial Ladder Platform was used to monitor any developments from above the property and at the rear. A second crew also entered the property with a standard hose reel jet.

Incident Commander Ted Williams said:

“Crews did a great job in successfully keeping the fire confined to the one bedroom with only a small amount of smoke damage in the corridor. The woman was very lucky to escape from the fire without injury as she wrongly went to investigate. We would always advise people to get out, stay out and call the fire service out. The severity of the fire in the room blew the back double glazed window out and there could quite easily have been a back draft created when the bedroom door was opened. After we had spoken to the woman she realised that she should have left the property immediately. However, she did the right thing by closing the bedroom door and turning off the electricity supply on her way out.

“When we handed over to the relief crews we requested that they fit a smoke detector on the top floor, as well as calling an electrician out to ensure that the property was safe.  We will be going back to carry out a Home Safety Visit in about three months’ time once she is over the shock of the fire.”

The cause of the fire is accidental and being put down to an old faulty television set. Electrical appliances, especially ones that run at high speeds and contain motors, like washing machines, should be serviced once a year by a qualified electrician.  In the case of any electrical goods sparking or malfunctioning a qualified electrician should always be contacted immediately.

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