Neighbour to the rescue of pensioner

Rodway Road, Mangotsfield

A man in his 80s was helped from his smoke-filled home by a neighbour who broke down the door after hearing the smoke alarm sounding.

Firefighters from Kingswood and Speedwell were called to the property, but once on scene found the man already outside thanks to the efforts of his neighbour. He was treated by crews for the effects of smoke inhalation, but did not need hospital treatment.

It’s thought the fire started when the man was cooking with a chip pan. When the fat caught alight it caused the room to fill with thick smoke. Fortunately his smoke alarm activated, which alerted a neighbour to the emergency. He broke down the front door, finding the man still inside. He then helped him to the safety of the fresh air.

The fire caused only minor damage to the kitchen.

More than 55% of accidental house fires attended by crews start in the kitchen, often when people are cooking with hot fats or oil. We recommend the use of thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers instead of chip pans as these are a much safer way to cook.

The incident also highlights why properly maintained smoke alarms are so important. In this incident the detector alerted the neighbour who took action to prevent a much more serious outcome, bearing in mind only a few breaths of smoke can be fatal.

For more details about keeping your home safe from fire please see our Home Fire Safety Check pages.