Extension lead warning after fatal fire in Saffron Walden

Emergency services at the scene on Cornell Court, Smallbridge Road, Saffron Walden

Emergency services at the scene on Cornell Court, Smallbridge Road, Saffron Walden - Credit: Andy Steele

A fatal fire in Saffron Walden was caused by a series of overheated extension leads, investigators have revealed.

Firefighters from Saffron Walden, Newport and Wethersfield tackled a blaze inside a flat near Radwinter Road on Friday (October 22).

Crews were called to the incident at around 10.03am and extinguished a fire within two hours, but a woman in her 60s sadly died at the scene.

After the incident, investigators from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) found that the fire was cause by a series of rolled-up extension leads which had become too hot.

Firefighters are now warning residents about the dangers of using extension leads in the home.

A spokesperson for ECFRS said: "Crews from Saffron Walden, Newport and Wethersfield attended and found a fire in a second-floor flat on Radwinter Road.

"Crews led residents from neighbouring flats to safety and worked hard to fully extinguish the fire by 11.51am.

"The fire was contained in the flat and crews used fans to clear the smoke.

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"An investigation into the cause of the fire found it was caused accidentally after rolled-up extension leads had overheated."

They added: "If you use extension leads at home, please follow our safety advice.

"Don’t overload extension leads or adaptors, they have a limit on how many amps they can take and make sure extension cables are fully rolled out before use.

"Only use one extension lead or adapter per plug socket. Do not plug one extension lead or adaptor into another.

"It’s better to use a bar adapter (multi-board) on a lead than a block adaptor."

Essex Police attended the incident, but officers do not believe the cause of the fire is suspicious.

A police spokesperson said: "We attended to support fire service colleagues in dealing with the incident.

"Sadly, a woman aged in her 60s died at the scene."

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