A SMOKE alarm has saved the lives of a family of five in Flansham.
A mother and her four young children were able to escape safely from a house fire this morning (Thursday, October 24) thanks to their smoke alarm.
Two fire crews were called to the terraced house at The Hartings at 12.50am after a candle left burning unattended started a fire in the family’s living room.
The occupier, a woman in her thirties, and her four young children were all asleep in bed when a candle left burning on an oak table caught light to paper and clothing left nearby. Thankfully, the house was fitted with two working smoke alarms which activated and alerted the woman to the developing fire giving the family the time they needed to escape safely.
Crews from the town’s fire station were on scene just minutes later and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the house to find the ground floor living room heavily smoke logged.
The fire was quickly extinguished using a hose reel but the living room was left damaged by fire and smoke.
Incident commander, Jon Etherinton, said: “This incident highlights once again the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home.
“The family were all asleep in bed when the fire started and had their smoke alarms not alerted them, this fire could have had extremely serious consequences.
“It is also a stark warning about the dangers of leaving candles burning unattended.
“We strongly advise people to make sure any candles are extinguished before leaving the room and to ensure they are placed well away from flammable objects such as clothing, curtains, paper and books.
“We also want to remind people that we offer free home fire safety checks where firefighters will visit your home by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment.
“We give priority to those who are elderly or more vulnerable.”
To request a home fire safety check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire.