Fire alarm saves woman’s life


A WOMAN’S life has been saved by a smoke alarm after a blaze started in her home.

The woman from Walberton was able to escape safely from a flat fire in the early hours this morning (Wednesday, April 9) because it was fitted with a working smoke alarm.

Firefighters from Arundel and Bognor rushed to the flat above the Holly Tree Pub in The Street at 1.36am after a fire started in a tumble dryer on the 1st floor.

The occupier, a woman in her forties, was asleep in bed when tea towels, left in the machine following a drying cycle, ignited.

On arrival firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and extinguished the blaze using a hose reel and covering jet.

The woman, suffering from mild smoke inhalation, was given oxygen therapy by the fire crew at the scene but did not need hospital treatment.

Incident commander from Arundel Fire Station, Richard Tout, said: “This is another example of where a working smoke alarm has potentially saved a life.

“The lady was asleep in bed and had the smoke alarm not alerted her, this fire could have had tragic consequences.

“Because the smoke alarm gave that vital early warning, the woman closed her internal doors, preventing the fire from spreading, and escaped safely.

“We would also like to remind people about the danger of leaving appliances like tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers running overnight or while out.

“They can be a potential fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors.”

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire safety checks where firefighters visit homes by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. The service particularly wants to hear from those who are:

. Are 65 or over and live alone

. Have a physical disability or frailty affecting their ability to either summon help or escape in an emergency

. Use a community alarm or emergency monitoring service like Careline or Lifeline

. Have a sensory impairment or difficulty hearing a standard smoke alarm

. Have a cognitive impairment affecting their ability to remember things or retain information, such as dementia

To request a home fire safety check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit