Tyne and Wear communities suffer two tragic fire deaths over Christmas

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is very sad to report the deaths of two women, in separate fire incidents during December 2019.

The first occurred on December 13th, in Stapleford Close, Newcastle where crews from West Denton Fire Station discovered a 20 year old woman who had suffered serious burns following a flash ignition of a gas hob. She sadly died later in hospital.

The second fatality occurred on Boxing Day when fire crews from Newcastle Central and West Denton Fire Stations were called to a property on Sorrel Close, Newcastle where an 84 year old woman’s headdress caught fire while she was cooking in the kitchen. She was admitted to hospital but sadly died.

TWFRS Area Manager – Community Safety, Lynsey McVay commented:

“These are appalling tragedies to occur within our communities and our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of these ladies.

While fire deaths related to clothing are fortunately very rare, these incidents are a tragic reminder of the danger of cooking and the need to ensure that clothing cannot come into contact with a flame. It’s important to be aware that loose clothing can easily catch fire, so if you are cooking you should take care not to lean over a hot hob. Additionally, if you do wear a traditional headscarf please ensure that it is tied back, where possible.

It goes without saying that all homes should also have working smoke alarms on every level. Please test them regularly to keep yourself and your family safe.”

If your clothes do catch fire, don’t run. Try and remember ‘stop, drop, roll’ – which means:

Stop – don’t run, you’ll make the flames worse.
Drop – lie down on the ground at once.
Roll – in heavy fabric or a fire blanket to smother the flames, though just on the ground will help.

Area Manager for Community Safety, Lynsey McVay