Smoke alarm warning after house fire


Release date: 5 August 2020

Residents are being reminded of the importance of having a working smoke alarm and think about a fire escape plan after a serious fire at a home on Tuesday evening.

Eight fire engines were mobilised to tackle the fire which broke out in a semi-detached property on Anscombe Road in Worthing at 6.52pm on Tuesday (4 August).

Fortunately, all of the residents inside the property were able to self-evacuate from the property.

Station Manager Roy Barraclough described the family as extremely fortunate, given the ferocity of the fire and how quickly it took hold.

Roy said: “Having a working smoke alarm is your first line of defence when a fire breaks out. It gives you the earliest possible warning that something is wrong, and hopefully gives you and your family plenty of time to make your way out of the property to safety to dial 999.

“I would urge any residents who do not have a smoke alarm fitted on each level of their property to have one installed as a matter of priority.

“But having a smoke alarm is only effective if it is working – so make sure you test it at least once a week to make sure the batteries have not gone flat.”

At the height of the incident on Tuesday evening, crews from Worthing, Littlehampton, East Preston, Shoreham and Horsham worked alongside each other to bring the fire under control.

Wearing breathing apparatus, the firefighters tackled the well-developed fire on the first floor of the property using six high pressure hose reels and jets, one fog nail and a hydrant.

Paramedics from SECAmb and the air ambulance were also in attendance, and officers from Sussex Police closed the road to allow emergency service personnel to work safely to bring the incident under control.

The roof of the property was completely destroyed by fire, with extensive damage to the first floor.

Firefighters remained at the scene damping down and turning over to ensure there were no further hotspots, with the last crew leaving the scene at 2.08am.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

If you are worried that a vulnerable person is not fire safe, you can refer them, or yourself, for free Safe & Well advice. Even under lockdown we can do this via Skype, telephone call or by handing out our handy booklet. Where appropriate they’ll fit smoke alarms or other specialist fire detection equipment free of charge.

For more information visit the Safe & Well Visit webpage.

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