Smoke detector saves two in blaze

PUBLISHED: 09:31 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 21:44 31 May 2010

A SMOKE alarm could have saved the life of a sleeping couple after a blaze started in their kitchen. Firefighters were called to a smoke-logged house on Duck Street, Wendens Ambo, after an electrical fault caused the dishwasher to set fire early on Thursd

A SMOKE alarm could have saved the life of a sleeping couple after a blaze started in their kitchen.

Firefighters were called to a smoke-logged house on Duck Street, Wendens Ambo, after an electrical fault caused the dishwasher to set fire early on Thursday morning.

Station Officer Neil Byford, from Newport Fire Station, said: "The couple had been alerted to the fire by a smoke detector and when we arrived they were waiting outside.

"Incidents like this show how important it is for everyone to fit a smoke detector - it could have been a very different story if they didn't have one."

Crews from Saffron Walden and Newport attended the fire which started at about 1.20am. Two sets of breathing apparatus and one hose reel were used by firefighters to help them tackle the blaze which was extinguished by 2am.

A 55-year-old man suffered from smoke inhalation and was placed in the care of the ambulance service.

"The fire was confined to a small area, but smoke filled the whole of the house and it's incredible what damage it can cause," said SO Byford. "It's like covering the walls in black paint - the whole downstairs will have to be redecorated. There was thousands of pounds worth of smoke damage."

After the blaze was out crews worked to vent the house and make sure it was safe. The firefighters were back at the station by 3am.

"Kitchen fires starting in washing machines and dishwashers is not uncommon," said SO Byford. "There could be any number of reasons such as dust building up around the motor. I advise people to get their machines checked out and don't put them on at night before they go to bed."

For more information about fire safety and fitting smoke alarms call the Essex County Fire and Rescue on 01376 576000.

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