Wheat bag - used by Fenland woman to relieve flu-like symptoms - starts fire in bedroom

A WHEAT bag being used by a Fenland woman to relieve her flu-like symptoms set fire to her bedroom.

Firefighters have now issued a warning about the dangers of overheating the bags, which are a homeopathic remedy for pain relief.

The fire occurred at 4.10pm yesterday in a house in New Road, Whittlesey.

A woman, who was suffering with flu-like symptoms, had placed two wheat bags in the microwave and had carried them up to bed.

She woke to find the bedroom full of smoke and was able to escape after putting the wheat bags in the waste bin and then in the sink. She then dialled 999.

Firefighters from Whittlesey and Stanground attended and discovered the first floor of the property was heavily smoke logged. There was no fire, but there were scorch marks on the bed from the wheat bags.

Crews ventilated the property and returned to their fire stations by 5.20pm.

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Martin Boome, station manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “When firefighters looked at the bags they were no instructions of labels on them.

“The woman said she was unsure how long they had been in the microwave as she had been confused due to feeling unwell.

“This is a serious issue, earlier this year a woman died in Manchester after her wheat bag overheated. Another woman died in Leeds in 2008, when the same thing happened.

“I would like to warn other residents about the dangers of overheating wheat bags.”