Warning after discarded cigarette sparks fire


Release date: 23 March 2020

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding residents to take extra care with discarded cigarettes following a fire in Bognor Regis.

The warning comes after two crews from Bognor Regis were mobilised to a fire between two properties in the Rose Green area early on Friday evening.

Upon arrival, crews found a fire involving rubbish, a fence and gates. There were concerns the fire may have spread to the roof of one of the properties and two further fire crews were mobilised to the scene.

Incident Commander James Mackay said: “Swift actions by the initial crews knocked the fire back and stopped the spread to the inside of the roof. The wall, end of the building and fence were damaged on a neighbouring property, and the affected property was damaged by heat.

“The occupiers of both properties were checked over by SECAMB paramedics and colleagues from Sussex Police attended to assist with road closures. Fire Emergency Support from the Red Cross attended to offer assistance to the occupier of the affected properties, with the last crew leaving at around 9pm.”

Early indications suggest the fire was started accidentally by discarded smoking materials.

The fire & rescue service’s Head of Prevention, Nicki Peddle, has urged residents to take extra care when smoking.

She said: “We would always encourage people who must smoke to do so outside, it can be safer than smoking indoors. But it is still vitally important that they ensure their cigarettes are fully extinguished before throwing them away. This could be as simple as putting the cigarette butt into a cup of water. This reduces the risk of the discarded cigarette smouldering and setting something else on fire, and potentially causing a much bigger incident.”

For more information on home fire safety visit the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service section of our website.

Or for help to quit smoking visit the West Sussex Wellbeing website.

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