Man Dies in House Fire

17th April, 2006

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service attended another fatal fire during the early hours of Easter Sunday.

Crews from Market Drayton, Hodnet and Prees responded to a property fire in Grosvenor Road, Market Drayton following a call from a member of the public.

A 20-year-old man was pulled from the property by fire crews wearing breathing apparatus but was declared dead at the scene.

Fire Investigation Officers are currently examining the scene but early indications are that the fire was a result of a chip pan being left unattended.

Mike Ablitt who is the Brigades Head of Fire Safety said "Whilst the cause of death has yet to be formally determined, it seems likely this person died as a result of a chip pan fire. Our sympathy of course goes to the family and friends of the young man concerned but his death was so unnecessary.

We really urge people to throw away their chip pans, they are extremely dangerous and the main cause of fires and fire deaths. Use a deep fat fryer or buy oven chips instead. Leaving a chip pan unattended is just like playing Russian roulette."

The Officer in Charge of the Incident, Station Officer Mick Howe, whose crews fought the blaze indicated that the house had a smoke detector but the battery had been removed.

Station Officer Howe said "It really is everyone's responsibility to make sure your homes have adequate detection and that you test the detectors regularly. If the battery is dead or missing it's simply no use at all. A smoke detector costs less than a couple of pints of beer. Surely your lives are worth that?."

Shropshire Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond said "This is yet another fire tragedy. Shropshire has the highest rate of fire deaths and injuries in the UK and has over 36,000 home rated as 'well above average fire risk' yet the public seem oblivious to the risk. Its time to wake up and understand that this could be you next unless you take simple precautions.

If anyone wants fire safety advice, then call our team in St Michael Street on 01743 260 260, a Fire Safety Officer will be only too pleased to talk to you."

This incident adds to the escalating number of fire deaths occurring in Shropshire. Despite a national trend of reducing fire deaths, Shropshire's are worsening significantly. The Fire Authority recently invested £100,000 in a campaign of house to house visits to try to curb the escalation of deaths and injuries occurring.