Neighbours quick action credited with saving lives after Falmouth fire (From This is The West Country)
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Neighbours quick action credited with saving lives after Falmouth fire
1:00pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Cornwall
Good Samaritans woken by the sound of a blaring smoke alarm have been praised for saving the lives of their Falmouth neighbours – one of which had been lying unconscious on the kitchen floor.
They got out of bed to investigate just after 3.20am on Thursday last week, and saw flames blazing through the kitchen window of a house in Prislow Fields.
After a frantic 999 call to the emergency services, the first fire crew arrived from Falmouth fire station within seven minutes, with the second following close behind.
They broke into the burning house and managed to wake one of the occupants, who made their own way out, but a second person had to be rescued by firefighters wearing breathing equipment after being found on the floor of the kitchen.
One hosereel was then used to extinguish the fire in the kitchen, which had suffered “significant damage” according to a fire service spokesperson.
Both casualties were suffering the effects of smoke inhalation and were treated at the scene by ambulance personnel.
The British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service also attended to offer help and support to the occupants.
A fire service spokesperson said: “Although a smoke alarm was sounding it had not awoken the occupants of the house on fire. Fortunately, neighbours responded and took the correct action of dialling 999 for the fire service. Their actions have prevented the loss of life.”
The fire service has given safety advice in the wake of the blaze.
With most kitchen fires occurring when people are distracted or leave things unattended, a reminder has gone out to not cook if affected by alcohol or prescription drugs, take pans off the heat if called away from the cooker – for example by the phone or someone at the door – and turn saucepans so that handles do not stick out or hover over another ring.
Similarly, do not put oven gloves or tea-towels down onto the hot cooker and clean grill pans after use.
The importance of a working smoke alarm has also been highlighted and people have been reminded to fit them and test them regularly.
Firefighters in Cornwall now carry out free home safety checks across the county and if necessary will fit free smoke alarms.
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