Vigilant Neighbour Alerts Fire Service

27th February, 2006

In the early hours of Sunday 26th February, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to a smell of burning at a property in Fitzalan Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury. The alarm was raised by a vigilant female neighbour who heard the smoke alarm operating and smelt burning.

Three appliances and an Incident Commander from Shrewsbury were mobilized and the first appliance put a message back that it was believed someone may be in the building.

The crews could smell burning through the letterbox but could not raise the occupier so they had to force entry made difficult by the fact that the property had uPVC doors and windows. Forcing entry roused the occupier who was asleep upstairs, he was then led to safety by Fire Service Personnel suffering from smoke inhalation and the crew administered oxygen until the ambulance arrived.

The male casualty in his 30's had been playing his playstation upstairs in the property and then fallen asleep while a pot of chilli on the electric cooker in the downstairs kitchen caught light. The hard wired fire alarm did operate but the occupier failed to hear it.

Four firefighters dealt with the small fire in the kitchen using four breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and one covering jet, the rest of the property required ventilating due to smoke logging.