Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Smoke alarm alerts neighbour to bedroom fire

Wakefield Close, Colchester
28/09/2021 @ 20:58
Incident Number: 153230
In attendance: 2 x Colchester

Crews extinguished a bedroom fire after a neighbour heard a smoke alarm and called 999. 

Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a semi-detached house in Wakefield Close, Colchester yesterday (Tuesday 28 September) at 8.58pm.

Two crews from Colchester attended and extinguished a fire in a first floor bedroom by 9.25pm. They also brought a cage containing two rats to safety, but two other rats died.

Watch Manager Luke Beardmore said: "Crews did a brilliant job; they worked really quickly to put out the fire and limit the damage.

"The incident shows the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home. The occupants had gone shopping and the damage would have been much worse if the neighbour hadn't heard the alarm.  

"We’d also urge smokers to ensure their cigarettes are properly stubbed out. This fire started when a cigarette fell off an ash tray and down the back of set of drawers - please check your cigarette is completely out."  

The bedroom was badly damaged by fire and the entire first floor was smoke-damaged.

Watch Manager Beardmore said: "It's always worth closing your internal doors when you leave your property just in case there is a fire; it will stop the fire and smoke spreading as quickly."

If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms at home, please get in touch with our Service. Visit or call 0300 303 0088.

Are you a smoker?

If you're a smoker or you have a smoker living in your house, make sure you follow our advice:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor
  • Make sure your 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 smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire
  • 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
  • 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
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