Smoke alarm saved my life

The victim of a blazing fire has praised the firefighters who helped save her home – and the smoke alarm she says saved her life.

The 34-year old woman, who did not want to be named, has relived the terrifying ordeal that saw her bungalow go up in flames in the early hours of Friday March 25th.

She described how she was suddenly awoken by her smoke alarm after a fire had started in her kitchen.

The incident occurred after a tea towel was left on the electric cooker hob, which ignited when the switch was accidently knocked to the ‘on’ position.

It caused the oven itself to ignite and spread across the kitchen of the property in the North of Newcastle.

Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were on the scene for 50-minutes to tackle and extinguish the blaze.

It caused widespread damage to the kitchen and smoke damage to the rest of the property, leaving many of the resident’s belongings destroyed.

But now she has urged others to ensure they have a working smoke alarm fitted – after claiming she could be dead if hers hadn’t woken her up.

Fire damaged cooker.

The resident said: “I’ve always been one of those people that thought this will never happen to me, and this fire has been a real eye opener.

“It was frightening as there was thick black smoke everywhere.  The Fire Service and Your Homes Newcastle have been absolutely brilliant during these difficult times.”

The victim of the blaze recorded a video in the immediate aftermath of the fire to illustrate the damage it caused to her property.

Steven Thomas, Group Manager, Prevention and Education at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“This incident shows just how important it is for residents to have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes.  It’s a real example of how smoke alarms can help to save peoples’ lives. Please ensure that you test your smoke alarms on a regular basis, at least once a month, as a working smoke alarm will give you early warning if a fire starts in your home and enable you to escape quickly and safely from your property.

“We work closely with partners like Your Homes Newcastle to help residents stay safe from harm.”

David Langhorne, Assets and Development Director at Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), said:

“Customer safety is paramount to us and fortunately there were no injuries or fatalities on this occasion.

“We install interconnected hard wired smoke alarms with battery backups in all our properties. They play a vital part in ensuring our customers’ safety. We urge all our customers to regularly test their smoke alarms to help prevent any serious incidents or damage.

“I’d like to thank the firefighters for their professionalism and support.”

TWFRS can fit smoke alarms and heat detectors free of charge as part of our Safe and Well visits.

Anyone wishing to arrange a visit can do so via our website or by calling our Freephone number 0800 032 7777.