Another smoke alarm saves pensioner

An 85-year-old Shropshire woman was saved from a house fire when neighbours heard a smoke alarm during an evening phone call.

They immediately called round to see the neighbour in Maesbury at just after 8pm last night (Thursday) and got her out of the house to safety after seeing the kitchen on fire.

Retained firefighters from Oswestry arrived to find the home heavily smoke logged. They administered oxygen to the elderly woman while the fire crew entered her home wearing breathing apparatus to deal with the incident.

They found that the cooker had been accidentally left on.

“The elderly woman had heard the smoke alarm going off but was unsure as to what it was. She sensibly called a neighbour who heard the noise from the alarm and came to help,” said Phil Clarke, deputy in charge of fire prevention at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“This is yet another example of how a smoke alarm has probably saved a life.”

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is campaigning for all homes in Shropshire to install smoke alarms to prevent further tragedies.

A total of seven people have died in house fires in the county since April – the worst fire fatalities statistic in Shropshire for 13 years.

A woman aged in her 60’s died in a fire in Market Drayton last week in which batteries were removed from smoke alarms inside the house while a young woman was saved by her smoke alarm in a fire at her Shrewsbury home earlier this week.

Shropshire’s fire service has identified lone, elderly and vulnerable women – who do not have smoke alarms fitted - as the most likely people to die in house fires.

“Family members, friends and neighbours must check that these vulnerable people are protected by smoke alarms which have working batteries fitted. It can and does save lives as has been shown by these incidents in Shropshire over the past few days,” added Mr Clarke.

Oswestry firefighters have now replaced an incorrectly fitted smoke alarm in the Oswestry woman’s home with two free smoke alarms – on the ground floor and first floor of her property.

27th January, 2012