Saffron Walden family escape blaze

PUBLISHED: 09:07 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 31 May 2010

Firefighters battled to bring the flames under control Picture: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters battled to bring the flames under control Picture: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

A SMOKE alarm undoubtedly saved the lives of a Saffron Walden family after fire ripped through their home on Saturday morning. The family has been rendered homeless by the fire and are believed to be staying with friends. Two crews from Saffron Walden f

A SMOKE alarm "undoubtedly saved" the lives of a Saffron Walden family after fire ripped through their home on Saturday morning.

The family has been rendered homeless by the fire and are believed to be staying with friends.

Two crews from Saffron Walden fire station were called to the scene in Borough Lane at 12.20am. On arrival they were faced with a developing fire on the third floor of the three-storey detached house.

It is understood that the family were asleep on lower floors and were alerted by a smoke alarm.

Station officer Paul Curtis said: "The fact that the family had a working smoke alarm undoubtedly saved their lives. This gave them sufficient time to safely vacant their property and call the fire service."

A total of 10 firefighters with breathing apparatus and four hose jets and ladders tackled the blaze, which was bought under control at around 3am. Crews also used heat seeking cameras and revisited the scene later that morning check for hotspots.

"Initially we were told by a family member that a teenager was trapped inside the premise," said Mr Curtis.

"Four firefighters in breathing apparatus were immediately sent in to search for him. Fortunately the father later confirmed that the boy had left the house to visit friends earlier in the evening."

Due to the seriousness of the fire a third appliance was requested from Newport to supply additional manpower and equipment. Thaxted Fire crews provided cover during the incident, while police and paramedics also attended the scene.

The house suffered serious fire damage to the third floor and smoke and water damage to all other floors.

The cause of the fire is being put down to an electrical fault.


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