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Man woken by smoke alarms after fire breaks out in home

Date: 16th July, 2020

Working smoke alarms “undoubtedly” saved the life of a man earlier today (16 July) when fire broke out at his home.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, and colleagues from Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, were called to a detached property in Sandford Orcas at 4am this morning, where a man was trapped in an upstairs bedroom due to the ferocity of the fire downstairs.

Firefighters were able to bring the man to safety using a ladder, and he was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation before being taken to hospital for further checks.

Crews from Sherborne (two), Yeovil (two), Sturminster Newton and Mere tackled the blaze, with 18 breathing apparatus wearers using three hose reel jets and two main jets. They were supported by a water carrier from Yeovil and a command unit from Sherborne.

Once the fire was brought under control, relief crews attended from Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Beaminster to deal with damping down and to assist the fire investigation.

Station Manager Brad Stevens, who attended the incident, said: “The occupier was woken by his smoke alarms, and this undoubtedly saved his life. The property was also fitted with fire escape windows, which meant firefighters were able to bring him to safety as soon as they were on scene. The fire was extremely intense on the ground floor of the house, and there was smoke throughout, so we could have had a very tragic outcome had the alarms not sounded.”

Smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor of the property and should be tested regularly. For more information, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/smoke-alarms

The fire is believed to have started accidentally but the exact cause remains under investigation due to the amount of damage.

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