'A smoke alarm is a must have’ say firefighters after Worthing bungalow blaze

Firefighters are urging people to make sure they are protected by a working smoke alarm after a serious kitchen fire in Worthing.


Release date: 6 May 2016

A Worthing man had to be led to safety by firefighters late last night, after a fire in his microwave went undetected because his home had no working smoke alarm.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service was called to Westdean Rd in Worthing at 11:44pm yesterday (Thursday 5) by a man trapped inside his bungalow. Fire Control Operators advised him to leave the property but the phone line went dead.

Three fire engines from Worthing were immediately mobilised to the scene and crews arrived within 4 minutes of the 999 call.

On arrival, firefighters were confronted with smoke pouring from the property and a well-developed fire in the rear kitchen. The male occupier was found at the front door and was immediately led out to fresh air. He was given first aid by firefighters and paramedics for smoke inhalation and minor burns. He was subsequently taken to hospital.

The fire was extinguished by crews wearing breathing apparatus using hose reels and the bungalow was ventilated using a positive pressure ventilation fan. The kitchen was left gutted by fire and the rest of the property damaged by heat and smoke. 

Worthing Watch Commander Darren Wickings said afterwards:

"The occupier was extremely lucky to escape without serious injury because he was not protected by a working smoke detector. A small fire can soon develop into a much more serious one if you don't have that crucial early warning. A smoke detector is quite simply a must have. We'd urge everyone to test their detectors regularly and make sure they have an escape plan in the event of a fire.

"Don't forget that we may be able to help by offering a free Home Safety Visit. We prioritise those who are over 65 or who have a disability. If you are concerned about fire safety in your home or the home of someone you care for then get in touch with us on 0845 872 9719 or via our website."

Firefighters will be returning to the address today to offer fire safety advice to neighbouring properties.

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