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Serious house fire in Chippenham

Date: 28th February, 2020

A fire that severely damaged a house in Chippenham last night (27 February) is believed to have started after a chip pan was left unattended on the hob.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Cocklebury Lane at 7.22pm after reports of a kitchen fire in a semi-detached house.

Two crews from Chippenham and one from Corsham were initially mobilised, but a quick decision was made to increase firefighter attendance in order to protect the neighbouring property. This tactic was successful, with only slight damage to the roof.

At the height of the incident, there were eight fire engines on scene – with further resources coming from Calne, Malmesbury, Westlea, Trowbridge and Swindon – supported by an incident command vehicle from Devizes, a water carrier from Royal Wootton Bassett and an operational support unit from Swindon. Volunteers from the British Red Cross emergency response service attended to provide support to the occupier.

A watching brief was maintained overnight, initially by a crew from Melksham, then one from Bradford on Avon, and most recently by a crew from Royal Wootton Bassett.

It is believed that the fire started accidentally as a result of unattended cooking in the kitchen. Fortunately, a working smoke alarm alerted the occupier, who attempted to extinguish the fire before the arrival of firefighters.

Station Manager Wayne Jones said: “Nearly two thirds of all accidental fires in homes across Dorset and Wiltshire start in the kitchen, and this incident shows just how easy it is for accidents to happen. Thankfully, this property had a working smoke alarm and the occupant was able to escape the building and alert neighbours before fire crews arrived, but the damage to his home is severe.”

The Fire and Rescue Service has the following kitchen safety advice:

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service provide free Safe and Well visits, which aim to make you safer in your own home. A member of DWFRS staff will come to your home and provide you with bespoke home safety advice, covering areas such as the use of candles, cooking, electric blankets, overloading sockets, chimneys, low energy light bulbs and much more. They even fit or replace smoke alarms, if appropriate.

To request a free Safe & Well visit, call 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety for more information and advice.

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