Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Smoke alarm saves family

A smoke alarm might well have saved a family’s life after alerting them to a late night blaze caused by an electrical fault in their dishwasher.

Crews were called to Bures Road, Lamarsh, at 11:44pm on Saturday March 12 to deal with a kitchen fire. When they got there they found that the family were safely outside and that the small fire had been beaten out with a tea-towel.

Sub Officer Steven Byrne, Halstead Fire Station, said: “The family had put the dishwasher on and gone to bed leaving it running. An electrical fault started a fire in the dishwasher.

“The family were alerted to the danger by their smoke alarm which went off straight away. Mum and the children ran safely outside while the dad beat the fire out with a tea towel. We don’t advise people to tackle the fires themselves but in this case he managed to put the fire out and wasn’t hurt at all.

“The kitchen units around the dishwasher were all black and burned and had it not been for the smoke alarm this could have been a far more serious incident. If the fire had been allowed to continue burning it would have spread to become a far more serious blaze which would have put everyone in the house in real danger.

“Incidents like this illustrate just how important smoke alarms are. The house could have quickly filled with smoke suffocating everyone inside if the alarm hadn’t gone off and warned them something was wrong.

“It also shows why we advise people never to leave appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers running when they go to bed. If a fire does break out no one will know until it is possibly too late.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will supply and fit smoke alarms entirely free of charge as part of a free home safety visit. To find out more, and arrange a visit for your home, call on 0300 303 0088 or fill out the online form found here.

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