Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas tree lights suspected as cause of house fire

A smoke alarm alerted a woman to a potentially devastating fire thought to have been caused by Christmas lights on her tree.

The woman was upstairs at the time when the alarm went off which alerted her to the fire in the lounge at the terraced house in Gladstone Road, Portslade, at just after 8pm last night (2nd December).

She attempted to tackle it herself with a fire blanket but it was too severe. She tried to escape using the front door, which was locked and she had to return upstairs to fetch the key.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were on their way and by the time she escaped two crews from Hove were there, who wore breathing apparatus to tackle the developing fire with a hose.

They remained at the scene until just after 9pm and the woman was treated at the scene by paramedics and then taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Community Safety Manager Steve Wright said: “Decorative lights, decorations and candles are a growing cause of fires, especially around Christmas time and we would urge people to be extra vigilant at this time of the year.

“Please ensure that decorative lights are in good working order and ensure that they are not damaged. If you think they are damaged we suggest that you do not use them.

“Always switch fairy lights off when going out or heading off to bed.”

“Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of planning an escape route and preparing, as well as practising, a plan of action which will help you act quickly if there's a fire in your home - it could even save your life. Please ensure that door keys are easily accessible and near to exits to save you time when escaping from a fire.

“Find out how to make an escape plan, including tips on making a bedtime fire safety check.

“When you make an escape plan, involve everyone who lives in your home, including children, older or disabled people and any lodgers.”

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