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Fire safety advice issued following a serious fire in Blackwell

Firefighters are issuing a reminder about the dangers of smoking materials following a serious fire at a bungalow on Alfreton Road, Blackwell.

Firefighters were called to attend the fire at 08:58 hours on Thursday 4 March. On arrival at the property they found the 90 year old female occupant of the property had been rescued by two passers-by. The lady was handed into the care of East Midlands Ambulance Service to be taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Station Manager Steve Ratcliffe said: “The occupant of the property had an extremely lucky escape as she was rescued and brought to safety by two people passing by who heard the smoke alarm before the arrival of the fire service. Tragically the ladies dog died as a result of the fire, underlining just how serious this incident was.”

The fire investigation has concluded that the most likely cause of the fire was accidental due to smoking materials.

Station Manager Ratcliffe went onto say: “Sadly, this is another accidental fire caused by smoking materials. Between October and December 2020 the Service responded to 9 accidental fires caused by smoking materials, 4 of these are described by the Service as high severity fires and one being a fatal fire, so we really do need to ensure people know how to stay safe and prevent such devastating fires occurring.

“I’d ask anyone who smokes to take a couple of minutes to read our advice on preventing a smoking related fire in the home and if you have elderly family, friends or neighbours, please take a minute to check they know who to stay safe too.”

Smoking fire safety advice:

  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Use a proper ashtray - never a wastepaper basket.
  • Make sure your ashtray can't tip over and is made of a material that won't burn.
  • Don't leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire.
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you're tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you've been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your sofa or bed on fire.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
  • Consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes.
  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out!
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of the home and check them weekly.
  • Have a planned and practiced escape route – ensure you know how you would get out in the event of a fire remembering to Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.

Speaking about the people passing by who rescued the occupant, Station Manager Ratcliffe said: “Whilst Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would never recommend entering a fire, we would like to commend the actions of these two passers-by on their bravery, as they most likely saved the occupants life.

“In the event of any fire our advice is simple, Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.”

Firefighters from Alfreton and Nottinghamshire’s Ashfield Station attended the incident, supported by colleagues from Derbyshire Constabulary, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Bolsover District Council.

Firefighters from Alfreton will be in the local area this afternoon offering fire safety advice and information to local residents.

For more information about keeping safe visit our website alternatively follow us on social media @DerbyshireFRS.

No further information is available at this time.