A FAMILY had a lucky escape from a fire in their home when a mum who woke them up shouting frantically.

The blaze started in a downstairs room where the woman slept due to her deteriorating mobility.

Fortunately the woman, who has asked not to be identified, was awake at the time and noticed the flames as the room was not fitted with a smoke detector.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued a plea for people to install smoke alarms in rooms where people sleep after the incident in the property in a remote village near Taunton.

The woman’s daughter, who also lives in the house with her family, said: "The fire started in a heat pad that we’d put under the bed clothes to keep mum’s feet warm at night.

"The first thing we heard was mum calling for help. Luckily she had been already awake when the duvet started to smoke and she’d got to the bedroom door and called for help.

"By the time I reached her, I could see the flames from the duvet were half way up the wall.

"It was terrifying – we closed the bedroom door, got out of the house and called 999 for the fire brigade.

"We were so lucky that mum noticed it smoking because there wasn’t a smoke alarm in the bedroom and I dread to think what would have happened if she’d been asleep."

Station manager Jo Webber, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This lucky escape shows us how important it is to have a smoke alarm in your bedroom, particularly for children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

"There are so many items of electrical equipment used in people’s bedrooms these days that we have had to update our advice – please put a smoke alarm in any bedroom, even if it’s a room that used to be used for another purpose, but is now used for sleeping, like this family’s bedroom for their mum.

"This is particularly important if there are electrical heaters or chargers left switched on overnight, but of course we would really recommend leaving as many things as you can switched off while you’re sleeping.

"You should check your smoke alarms at least every month – that’s the ones in the bedrooms as well as the smoke alarms you should have in your hallway and landing.

"Always check your electric blankets, heat pads and any other electrical devices for signs of scorching or burning smells. If you’re worried stop using them and get them checked by an electrician or replace them.

"And practice your escape plan, then if the worst does happen, you’ll know what to do like this family did; closing the door stopped the fire spreading and everyone was ok."

The service offers a free home safety check aimed at older people, those with illnesses or disabilities and households with young children - call 0800-0502999 or e-mail firekills@dsfire.gov.uk to see if you’re eligible.