Family saved from house fire after four-year-old girl woken by smoke alarm

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is urging people to ensure they have a working smoke alarm in their home after a four-year-old Bristol girl saved her family from a house fire after being woken up by a smoke alarm.

Four-year-old Lily-Rose Cornford was woken by the smoke alarm in the early hours of the morning (Sunday 11 December) and managed to wake up the rest of her family, who all escaped unharmed.

The family of five, which includes parents Tanya and Martin and daughters Skye, 16, Paige, 12 and Lily-Rose four, escaped from the devastating fire which completely gutted their home in Warmley.

Four firefighters in breathing apparatus used one high pressure hose reel and one jet to tackle the fire which is believed to have started accidentally.

Four crews attended the incident from Kingswood, Hicks Gate and Temple fire stations. The Red Cross emergency team also attended the incident to assist the family.

Lily-Rose’s mum Tanya Cornford said: “My little girl was woken up by the smoke alarms and quickly ran into her sister’s room and woke her and then came downstairs to wake us up too.

“We all got out very quickly but without the smoke alarm there might have been a very different outcome. I urge every family to make sure they have smoke alarms because one day they might save your life and those of your family.”

Smoke alarms provide a warning that fire has broken out and could give occupants of a house vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night.

Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke from a fire can cause a person to lose consciousness or even die.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 AF&RS attended 539 house fires. There was no smoke alarm fitted in 185 (34%) of these, however this has improved by 7% compared with the previous year where 41% of homes had no smoke alarm.

AF&RS Group Manager for Risk Reduction, Matt Peskett, said: “This fire highlights just how important smoke alarms are because during this incident they woke up Lily-Rose who was then able to wake up her family and everyone got out safely.

“The combination of the alarms and the prompt actions of Lily-Rose certainly prevented serious injuries or worse.

“I urge everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm as they activate at the first sign of fire and give occupants time to escape, especially at night.”

Smoke alarms advice

  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Smoke alarms are cheap and easy to install.
  • Most smoke alarms are fitted with a battery that lasts 10 years. Test the battery to make sure it is working every week.
  • Never disconnect or remove the batteries.
  • Mains-powered alarms are powered by your home electricity supply.
  • Don’t put alarms in or too near kitchens or bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.

AF&RS offers free Home Fire Safety Visits where our staff offer fire safety advice and fit free smoke alarms if required.

To book a Home Fire Safety Visit for yourself or someone you care click here or call 0117 926 2061 or text VISIT to 07507 319 694. For more fire safety advice click here.