Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Jessie's story: smoke alarms save lives

Jessie Lampitt is alive and well today thanks to a smoke alarm which warned her and her 11 pets when a fire broke out in her kitchen late at night.

It was just before Christmas when 80 year-old Jessie of Elmdon noticed her dogs acting strangely. She said: “I was sitting in my armchair at around 11:45pm when I heard one of my dogs whimpering. I went to find out what was wrong and when I opened the kitchen door I discovered it was full of smoke and the smoke alarm was going off.”

The alarm, which had only been fitted a matter of weeks earlier, was monitored by Lifeline and their call centre operators immediately alerted the fire service who quickly dealt with the fire.

A neighbour also heard the alarm and helped Jessie, her two cockatiels, five cats and four dogs to safety.

“I know that I am lucky to be here with all my pets and I know that it is thanks to the smoke alarm that we all got out. If I didn’t have a smoke alarm who knows what would have happened.”

Station Officer James Taylor said: “Stories like Jessie’s show just how important it is to have smoke alarms in your home. We will come and fit smoke alarms for free so there is really no excuse.”

To arrange a free home fire safety visit call 0300 303 0088 or email

Hear Jessie’s story in her own words in the video below.


Smoke Alarms - Jessie's story from ECFRS on Vimeo.

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