Smoke alarm saves family

PUBLISHED: 12:34 17 November 2006 | UPDATED: 22:22 28 May 2010

A FAMILY sleeping upstairs were given an early warning to a fire in their home and managed to escape thanks to their smoke alarm. The fire started at the home of Mark and Ruth Bell and their children, in Westfield Road, Manea, just after 4.05am on Wednesd

A FAMILY sleeping upstairs were given an early warning to a fire in their home and managed to escape thanks to their smoke alarm.

The fire started at the home of Mark and Ruth Bell and their children, in Westfield Road, Manea, just after 4.05am on Wednesday.

A duvet caught fire when it accidentally came into contact with a coal fire that was still hot. A woman, who was asleep on the sofa, was awakened by the smoke alarm to see the flames.

She tried to smother the flames and the family upstairs, who had also heard the alarm, managed to escape downstairs and out of the house before the staircase became engulfed with smoke.

Everyone was out of the house when fire crews from Manea and Chatteris arrived a short time later.

An 11-year-old boy was taken to hospital after suffering burns to his leg. All other family members were uninjured.

Incident Commander Alan Brown said: "Although the fire was contained in a small area, the heat damage to the front room and smoke damage throughout the house, particularly upstairs, was quite extensive.

"I have no doubt that the smoke alarm saved the family upstairs. A few minutes later they would not have been able to get down the stairs due to the smoke.

"This incident highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted on every level of your home. If you already have them, you should check they work once a week.

"If you do not have smoke alarms, we offer free home fire risk assessments where we will come to your house, discuss any possible fire hazards in your home and fit a smoke alarm for free if you do not have one.

To request a home fire risk assessment call 01945 428600.

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