Smoke alarm saves woman's life

By Connie Osborne Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 10/01 14:11

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Buy photos » Picture courtesy of Graham Eglen at www.fire-engine-photos.com

AN ELDERLY woman was treated by paramedics and her cat had to be rescued after a fire broke out in her home.

Firefighters from Redditch and Bromsgrove were called to the listed cottage on Bear Hill in Alvechurch just before 3.20am today (Wednesday) after a woman in her 70s was woken up by the sound of her smoke alarm.

The blaze which had broken out in the bathroom, spread to the roof space and caused a serious risk to neighbouring properties.

Crews rescued a cat from the house using a ladder to the first floor window and used two hose reel jets and one covering jet to put out the flames.

Thermal imaging equipment was also used to check the fire was fully out, while firefighters remained at the scene until 7.30am, to ensure there was no further fire spread and assist with salvage work.

Watch commander Jon Laight, from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), praised crews for their fast thinking actions.

"It had already spread into the roof space and there was a very real risk of the fire spreading horizontally into adjoining properties, but thanks to the actions of the first crews at the scene, this was avoided," he said.

"The four crews acted quickly and professionally to bring the fire under control and limit the damage to all three houses.”

He added the fire demonstrated how important it was to have a working smoke alarm fitted in all homes.

"The early warning it gave provided the woman time to get out safely and call the fire service and we were then able to save her house and those of her neighbours, all three of them listed properties," he said.

"The incident illustrates just why we remind people to check their smoke alarms on a regular basis, as working smoke alarms really can and do save lives."

A re-inspection of the cottage will take place later today (Wednesday).

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