East Harting fire sparks smoke alarm warning

Photo credit: West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

Release date: 1 February 2024

Firefighters are urging residents to have working smoke alarms in their properties following a large house fire that broke out on Tuesday night (30 January).

Six fire engines Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service responded to the fire in East Harting Street.

Upon arrival firefighters were confronted with a well-developed fire that was rapidly spreading to a neighbouring property. Fortunately, the occupier was alerted to the fire by his smoke alarm and evacuated to a place of safety.

After several hours, the fire was extinguished and crews remained on scene overnight to dampen down hotspots.

Station Manager, Darren Wickings, said: “This incident highlights how important working smoke alarms are; in this case, the smoke alarm undoubtedly saved the occupier’s life.

“You are 10 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm, so I would urge everyone reading this to check they have smoke alarms on each floor of their property.

“Smoke alarms should also be tested weekly and replaced every 10 years to ensure they’re working and fit for purpose.”

Further fire safety advice is available on our website: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/ 

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