Man Saved After Smoking Starts Fire, No Battery in Smoke Alarm
A sleeping man was rescued from a fire in his bedroom last night after neighbours alerted Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue. An upstairs smoke alarm had had the battery removed and if not for the swift action of Firefighters the man could have lost his life.
Fire Control were alerted by a neighbour about a fire in Markham Crescent, Dunstable at 8.50pm last night (Tuesday, 20 February) and dispatched two fire engines from Dunstable Community Fire Station and one from Luton Community Fire Station.
When they arrived just nine minutes later at the semi-detached, two-storey building, they forced entry to the house and found a man asleep in a bedroom with a fire quickly developing just half a meter from him. The room was full of smoke and Firefighters worn breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the fumes, rescuing the man and getting him out of the house. They then quickly extinguished the flames using two hose reels and a safety jet. They cut away material in the bedroom and used a thermal imaging camera to ensure it had not spread into the floor of the room. They also cleared smoke from the house using positive pressure ventilation.
Ade Yule, Borough Commander South, explains: “When Firefighters arrived the bedroom was full of smoke. The man was just feet from the fire and if we had not arrived so quickly I think his outlook would have been pretty bleak. Firefighters rescued from the building quickly and he was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.
“The fire appears to have been started by smoking materials and we would urge smokers to ensure they always fully extinguish their cigarettes before going to bed. Also while there was a smoke alarm on the first floor the batteries had been taken out so it was no help to the residents. There was no smoke alarm on the ground floor at all.
“Do not take batteries out of smoke alarms, they are there to save your life. This man was very lucky a neighbour alerted us to the fire, otherwise the outcome could have been very different. I’d like to commend our crews for their swift action in both rescuing the man and stopping the fire from becoming more serious.”