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Working smoke alarms save Verwood family after kitchen fire

Date: 5th March, 2020

Working smoke alarms saved a Verwood family last night (4 March) when fire broke out in their kitchen.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service received a 999 call from a property in Little Dewlands at 11.37pm, where smoke from the blaze was spreading through the hallway and up the stairs.

A Fire Control operator gave fire survival guidance to the caller; a neighbour placed a ladder against the property, allowing the caller to escape, but two other people had to be rescued from the house by firefighters, one by ladder from the first floor and the other from the ground floor after entry was forced.

Four crews attended the scene, from Verwood, Cranborne, Ringwood and Ferndown, and six breathing apparatus wearers used two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire, which is believed to have started in the refrigerator.

Volunteers from the British Red Cross emergency support service, based at Springbourne, also attended to help the affected family. The two people rescued by firefighters were taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Station Manager Graham Kewley said: “This house was fitted with hardwired smoke alarms, which had only been checked recently, and these alerted the family to the fire. I have no doubt that this saved their lives, and I would urge everyone to make sure that they have working smoke alarms fitted – and to test them regularly. The rapid spread of smoke throughout the property is a reminder of the importance of keeping internal doors closed at night, and we would always recommend that people have an escape plan for their home, should the worst happen.”

For more fire safety advice, or to request a free Safe & Well visit, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety

Anyone interested in becoming an on-call firefighter in East Dorset can attend a ‘have a go’ event being hosted at Verwood fire station on Tuesday 10 March between 7pm and 9pm. More information about being an on-call firefighter can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/on-call-firefighters

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