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Passer by awarded Chief Fire Officer Commendation

Chief fire officer handing award to young woman outside in front of 2 fire engines

This week Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer presented a member of the public with a commendation for brave actions that likely saved a life following a fire.

On Thursday 4 March 2021, Lauren Mottram was passing a bungalow on Alfreton Road, Blackwell, when she noticed smoke pouring from the building. Without a moment’s hesitation, Lauren bravely entered the burning bungalow of a 90 year old resident, and rescued her from the fire that had taken hold in her living room.

Presenting Lauren with a special commendation to acknowledge her brave actions, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson said: “Lauren demonstrated selfless bravery by entering the burning bungalow in March and rescuing the occupant before the arrival of fire crews. She risked personal injury by entering the property, but thankfully was unharmed.”

Whilst recognising Lauren’s quick thinking and courage in entering the bungalow fire, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind people of the dangers of entering a burning building and returning into a building if you have escaped.

In the event of a fire call 999 and get out, stay out. If you ever discover a fire, call 999 immediately and let our specially trained firefighters and control operators respond.

An investigation into the cause of the fire at the Blackwell bungalow concluded that the most likely cause was accidental due to smoking materials.

Between October and December 2020 Firefighters responded to nine accidental fires caused by smoking materials, four of these are described by the Service as high severity fires, and one being a fatal fire.

The Service would like to 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 how 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.