A WIGAN man had a lucky escape after a smoke alarm fitted just months ago alerted him to a blaze that had started in his bedroom.
At about 9.20pm on Sunday evening fire crews were called to Rockybank Terrace, Ince, where they found the bedroom on the first floor was well alight, but the 50-year-old resident was safely away from the property.
The outcome could have been much different if fire crews had not visited the man’s home just months before to fit smoke alarms.
In March crews went to his home to carry out a Home Fire Risk Assessment and deemed it necessary to put alarms throughout the house including in the bedroom because he is a smoker and spends a lot of time in his room.
When the alarms started going off the man became confused and did not know what to do, luckily his neighbour heard the noise too and so went to check if everything was okay.
The resident was found in the living room of the house and his quick thinking neighbour immediately took him outside and called the fire brigade.
Watch Commander, Tony Callaghan, said: “This man was very lucky that he had working smoke alarms throughout his house and if this had not been the case then we may have been looking at a very different situation, potentially a fatality.
“The neighbour did a good job taking him out of the danger zone.
“The incident really does highlight the importance of having smoke alarms and everybody reading this should take this opportunity, if they don’t already have them, to ring us and we’ll come and fit the life-saving piece of equipment for free.”
Fire crews have since established that the blaze had been started by a cigarette, which is thought to have been dropped in the bedroom.
And by the time crews arrived it was clear the fire had been burning for some time, as it had melted the casement surrounding the bedroom window.
They were quickly able to get it under control, but the house was so badly damaged that it is uninhabitable and the man has had to find alternative accommodation.
The bedroom was completely destroyed in the blaze and the rest of the house has smoke and water damage.
Anybody without a working smoke alarm is urged to call Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and arrange a free Home Fire Risk Assessment, which offers free advice and information about how to protect you home from fire, and fits free smoke alarms. For more information call 0800 555 815.