A FAMILY had a lucky escape after a blaze broke out in their Wigan home as they slept.
Fire chiefs say the survivors were particularly fortunate to have woken in time because the house in Princess Road, Ashton, was not fitted with a smoke alarm.
Indeed, when the crew was called out to the emergency at 6am yesterday, they initially feared that there were people still trapped inside.
It is believed the blaze started after a 21-year-old man came in from a night out, put the chip pan on, but then fell asleep.
Wigan’s Crew Commander, Simon Connor, said: “This could have been a total tragedy, had the family not woken up, and it is extremely lucky that they were able to get themselves out of the house before the fire spread throughout. This could have been avoided completely.
“It is for exactly this reason that we encourage people to get rid of their chip pans and get a deep fat fryer instead, because they have heat regulators built-in and are much safer.”
Three crews from Wigan, Leigh and St Helens attended the scene after the alarm was raised by a woman in the property who had been woken by the smoke. By the time the crews had arrived, she, a man and a girl, as well as the 21-year-old had all managed to get out of the house.
The fire was contained to the kitchen, although the whole of the house was smoke-damaged and three family members were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
Mr Connor said: “This family was very, very lucky that things weren’t a lot more serious, and that the young man woke up when he did. There were no smoke alarms in the house, but if there had been the family could have been woken up sooner, which is crucial.
“I want to stress the importance of having working smoke alarms in your house, because it could be the difference between life and death.”
The Fire Service offers a free home fire risk assessment. As part of the assessment smoke alarms are fitted free of charge.
For more information, call 0800 555815.
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