Date: 13th April, 2021
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the public about the importance of working smoke alarms, having an escape plan and the dangers of smoking materials after a serious house fire in Devizes yesterday (12 April).
At approximately 6.15pm, firefighters from Devizes, Melksham and Calne, as well as the aerial ladder platform from Swindon, were called to reports of a property fire in Hambleton Avenue, Devizes. On arrival, firefighters found a significant fire affecting the roof and upper floor of the house. Four breathing apparatus wearers, two hose reels and one main line were used to extinguish the fire, and the aerial ladder platform was used to strip tiles from the roof of the property to check for fire spread.
Station Manager Dave Geddes, fire investigation officer at this incident, said: “The family inside the property had a really lucky escape. Unfortunately, smoke alarms inside the house did not activate, but they were all able to escape. Incidents of this nature remind us of the importance of working and well-maintained smoke alarms that are tested regularly. A smoke alarm will provide an early warning to a fire, giving you vital time to put an escape plan into action.”
He added: “The investigation into the cause of this fire is still underway, but we believe smoking materials were being used in the property at the time of the fire. I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that smoking can be extremely dangerous. The best way of protecting yourself and others in your home from this risk is to give up smoking altogether; failing that, only ever smoke outside. If you have to smoke indoors, remember to ‘put it out – right out’.”
Firefighters remained on scene until 9.05pm last night to ensure the fire was extinguished and the property was as safe as possible. Damage to the property is significant.
Following on from this incident, the Service is visiting other homes in the area to distribute home fire safety information. Advice about staying safe from the causes of fire in your home, installing smoke alarms and contacting DWFRS about a Safe & Well visit can also be found at www.dwfire.org.uk