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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fatal fire caused by cigarette

1/6/2017

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging smokers to take extra care after an investigation established that a cigarette was responsible for a fire in which a Stoke-on-Trent woman died.

“We’d urge smokers to ensure that when they put their cigarettes out, they are fully out in a proper ash tray. Never light up in bed and avoid smoking when you’re tired as it is very easy to fall asleep whilst your cigarette is still burning.”

Station Manager Ian Read

An investigation into the blaze on Bayham Walk, Bucknall, at 8pm on December 26, showed a cigarette had fallen between the bedside table and the bed, smouldered and turned into a flaming fire whilst the woman is believed to have been asleep. There was one smoke alarm in the downstairs of the property but it was not working at the time of the fire.

Station Manager Ian Read said: “This was a tragic accident that sadly is becoming all too common – the two fatal fires prior to this were also caused by smoking materials. We cannot stress enough to smokers the importance of ensuring they handle and dispose of their cigarettes safely because as this incident has highlighted the consequences can be devastating.

“We’d urge smokers to ensure that when they put their cigarettes out, they are fully out in a proper ash tray. Never light up in bed and avoid smoking when you’re tired as it is very easy to fall asleep whilst your cigarette is still burning.”

“We would also like to remind residents of the importance of having a working smoke alarm on every level of the property and to test their smoke alarms regularly as they can alert you at the earliest opportunity that there is a fire.  We encourage people to test their alarms every week to help avoid incidents like this.”

For information about smoke alarms and staying safe and well in your home ring the Service’s Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk.