Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Firefighters rescue man after cigarette causes fire

Maple Square, Southend
20/05/2018 @ 08:40
Incident Number: 77702
In attendance: 1 x Southend, 1 x Leigh


Firefighters were called to a fire at a care home this morning.

On arrival, crews reported that one flat was heavily smoke logged and a man in his seventies was inside.

Firefighters led the man to safety and were able to extinguish the fire by 9.14am.

Using positive pressure ventilation fans, crews then cleared the property of smoke.

The man has been left in the care of the Ambulance Service after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The fire was caused by a lit cigarette, which ignited a bedside unit after the man fell asleep.

If you or a family member smoke at home, please follow our advice to stay safe:

  • Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
  • Make sure your all cigarettes are fully extinguished.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
  • Use child safe matches and cigarette lighters and keep them safely out of the reach of children.
  • Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
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