Date: 11th January, 2024
An elderly couple were rescued from their smoke-filled home this morning (11 January) by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The couple were trapped in their first floor bedroom after an electrical fire broke out on the ground floor.
They were able to call 999 and were given fire survival guidance by the Fire Control call handler. This included shutting themselves in their bedroom, blocking the gap below the door with a blanket, and having wet towels to hold over their faces to protect them from smoke.
Four fire crews attended the property in Cheselbourne, from Dorchester and Blandford, and firefighters in breathing apparatus were able to fit the couple with fire escape hoods. This allowed them to be brought to safety through the house.
Station Manager Paul Webber said: “Despite what must have been a terrifying experience, this couple did everything they were told to by our Control room. This kept them safe until they could be rescued. Fire escape hoods have only been in use for a few years, but they were a vital part of bringing these people to safety.”
DWFRS is now urging people to think about what they would do in the event of a fire. Things to consider are:
- Have a bedtime routine, making sure internal doors are closed throughout the property.
- Make sure you always have a phone available on whatever level of the home you are. If mobile phone signal isn’t very good, have an alternative way of raising the alarm, such as a landline.
- If it’s safe to do so, get out, stay out and call 999.
- If it’s not safe to do leave, get everyone into a room away from the fire, ideally with a window that can open. Close the door, and put something across the bottom to keep smoke out.
- Have smoke alarms fitted on every level of the home and test them regularly.
More advice on bedtime routines, planning your escape and what to do in the event of a fire can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-at-home