Sleeping Family Rescued from House Fire

24th February, 2007

A family were lucky to be alive today after being rescued from their burning home in Brookside, Telford.

A neighbour alerted the fire service of a house fire in the early hours of this morning and two fire crews from Telford and an Incident Commander from Shrewsbury were sent to the property. When arriving at the scene crews were faced with a fire on the ground floor of the home and it was quickly established that there were people still asleep upstairs.

An additional fire appliance from Tweedale was sent to the property where fire-fighters made efforts to rouse the sleeping occupants.

A family of four were told through an upstairs window to move into a safe bedroom at the front of the house where a ladder was pitched to the bedroom window. Fire-fighters extinguished the fire in the downstairs conservatory and ventilated the ground floor before leading the family to safety down the staircase.

Station Officer John Griffiths of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said "The family had a very lucky escape and there could easily have been a tragic loss of life. If it wasn't for the fact that a neighbour had spotted the fire early and alerted us, the fire would have been far more serious.

"There was a smoke detector fitted in the house but it was not working at the time." Station Officer Griffiths said "This is a timely reminder to us all to ensure that we have working smoke detectors installed and to check them regularly. In this case a smoke alarm would have woken the family and allowed them to escape quickly."

Initial fire investigations have shown that the fire was started external to the conservatory and it is being treated as suspicious. A full joint investigation involving fire and police is to be carried out later today.

For information on the provision and installation of smoke alarms contact Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on telephone number 01743 260 260.