Monday, 27 February 2012

Firefighters rescue man from Hailsham house fire

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service firefighters rescued a man from a house fire in Hailsham in the early hours of this morning (27th February).

Crews from Hailsham, Herstmonceux and Eastbourne were called out to the house in London Road at 00.55am after a concerned neighbour contacted East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

When firefighters arrived they were met by a severe fire in the lounge of the property and used firefighting foam to penetrate the glass windows to knock back the flames before forcing entry via the front door.

Fire Investigation Officer Julie Gilbert-King said:

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building to look for the casualty, who was located in the front bedroom on the first-floor. Witnesses had reported that he was leaning out of the front window calling out for help but when crews arrived they found him collapsed by the window.

“The lounge was severely damaged by the fire and the rest of the property heavily smoke-logged. The property had no working smoke alarms but thankfully the neighbours raised the alarm, which undoubtedly saved his life. He was a very lucky man to have escaped this fire.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, probably started after a cigarette was carelessly discarded.

Smokers are being urged to be extra vigilant and to follow this safety advice:

  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out!
  •  Never smoke in bed.
  •  Use a proper ashtray – never a wastepaper basket.
  •  Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  •  Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire.
  •  Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking.
  •  You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.
  •  Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  •  Consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes.

Smoke alarm facts:

  • You’re twice as likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.
  •  90 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing.  
  •   Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Smoke alarms are easy and cheap to install.
  •  They are available from DIY stores, electrical shops and most high street supermarkets.  
  •  Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week. Change them every year. Never remove them.
  •  An alarm with ten-year batteries is the best option.
  •  Make checking your smoke alarm part of your regular household routine.
  • Test is by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. If it doesn’t sound, you need to replace the battery.

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