Safety warning over barbecues

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FIREFIGHTERS are urging Wigan folk to enjoy the warm weather safely after a barbecue caused a fire that spread to a neighbouring house in Goose Green.

Left unattended for just a moment the smoking coals set fire to a conifer tree, which caught a wooden fence and spread to the UPVC cladding of the house next-door.

A fire crew from Wigan Fire Station was called to Annesley Crescent in Goose Green at 4.05pm on Saturday May 25.

Crew manager Tony Calaghan said: “As soon as we see a bit of sunshine on a Bank Holiday like this, people like to have a barbecue, but we don’t want a fire like this to happen to anyone else.

“The family were very lucky – conifers go up in flames like Roman candles because they’re so dry – before we arrived they managed to use a hose pipe to douse the flames a bit and stop the fire spreading further.

“We’d tell anyone having a barbecue not to place it too close to trees and fences or anything else that could catch fire.”

Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun David Acton added: “Of course we want everyone to make the most of the warmer weather but we want them to enjoy barbecues safely to avoid fires like this one.

“If you are having a barbecue, make sure it’s in good working order and away from flammable trees, bushes and fences.

“Never light one with petrol or paraffin, keep a bucket of water nearby and never leave children with a barbecue or leave it unattended because that’s how fires can start.

“Also make sure your barbecue is out completely before leaving it – that way you can enjoy them safely.” For more information on barbeque safety, go to www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/seasonal_safety/barbecue_safety.aspx

For a free Home Safety Check, which may include the fitting of smoke alarms, please contact GMFRS on 0800 555 815 or visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx.