Lucky escape in Littlehampton sparks warning from fire service

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding residents about the importance of having working smoking alarms in their properties.


Release date: 10 April 2018

Fire crews are urging residents to have working smoke alarms in their properties following on from a flat fire this morning (10 April).

Two crews from Littlehampton were mobilised to a fire at 4:05am after Sussex Control Centre received a 999 call, reporting that there was a fire in an electrical intake box.

The first fire engine was on scene in four minutes and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus promptly extinguished the blaze using extinguishers.

Speaking of the incident, Group Manager, Adrian Carter, said: “This incident once again highlights the sheer importance of having a working smoke alarm.

“The resident was alerted to the fire as he was woken up by a ‘bang’. There were no batteries in the smoke alarm and the fire had burnt through the cabling of the landline phone. Fortunately the occupier was able to evacuate the property and call the fire service on his mobile phone.

“This was an extremely lucky escape for the resident and the outcome could have been very different, had he not have woken up. I cannot stress the importance of having working smoke alarms, ensuring that there is one on every level of the property and that they are tested on a weekly basis.”  

An investigation into the cause of the fire deemed it accidental ignition due to an electrical fault.

Please visit our home fire safety page for more information on smoke alarms.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.

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