Firefighters issue safety warnings after overheated plug socket causes Wigan borough house blaze

A Wigan borough home was damaged by fire and smoke when a plug socket buried under papers and clothes overheated and caught light.

Two women in the house in Congresbury Road, Leigh, escaped the property unscathed, but firefighters say that the emergency could have been averted and that the toll on the property been less if a smoke alarm had been fitted properly.

Crews from Leigh and Atherton were called to the house at 8.25pm on Sunday November 27.

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The blaze had started in an upstairs room used as an office. A cross-trainer was the only appliance plugged in at the seat of the fire, but piled up around it and smothering it were papers and clothing which caused it to overheat and eventually ignite.

A general view of Congresbury Road, Leigh
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The cross-trainer, computer equipment and plasterboard wall panels were all damaged beyond repair, while smoke also got into other upstairs rooms because the door had been open.

The fire was hot enough to melt the lightbulbs in the office room.

Leigh watch manager Kieran Reid said: “Thankfully the occupants of the house evacuated safely and we were able to deal with the incident relatively quickly.

"But there are lessons to be learnt here. Although the plug socket wasn’t overloaded it was covered with other items which caused it to heat up and catch fire.

“Also the house did have a smoke alarm upstairs but it was on a window sill rather than fixed high up and I’m not sure it went off at all. One of the women told us they were alerted by a bang, she went to investigate and found smoke coming from the room.”