A Stoke-on-Trent woman whose home was badly damaged by a dishwasher fire has pledged to support Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Get Out Stay Out campaign.
“I think the Get Out Stay Out campaign is a really good idea to let people know the safest thing to do in a fire. I’ve seen first-hand how quickly a fire can spread once it takes hold and I’m just so glad we all got out okay."
The campaign, which was launched on Monday March 5, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of tackling a fire yourself, attempting to gather belongings or re-entering a building during a blaze, and highlights the importance of leaving the property as soon as possible and waiting for the fire crews to arrive.
Carol Bucknall, 52, from Riverdale Drive, Packmoor, returned home on Christmas Eve 2017 (Sunday December 24) to find her smoke alarms were sounding. She initially thought it was her house alarm so went inside to investigate.
When she opened the kitchen door she was faced with thick black smoke and could see flames coming from underneath her dishwasher. Carol quickly let her dogs out of their crates and got out of her home but one of the dogs ran back inside.
She watched on as her son and a neighbour’s son went into the house after the dog.
Carol said: “When my son went in to get the dog I was very worried about him, the smoke was so bad but fortunately I had shut the kitchen door when I left so I at least knew that the dog couldn’t have gone in there.
“Thankfully they all got out okay but I know this was a very risky thing for them to do and they were lucky they weren’t hurt.
“I think the Get Out Stay Out campaign is a really good idea to let people know the safest thing to do in a fire. I’ve seen first-hand how quickly a fire can spread once it takes hold and I’m just so glad we all got out okay.
“When it was happening I was just in complete shock and couldn’t believe it was happening, my kitchen was completely destroyed but it is now being refitted.”
Roy Daniels, who was the Incident Commander, said: “This was a very well developed fire which produced a high level of noxious smoke.
“While we understand why the two men went in, they were very lucky not to be overcome by the smoke and we hope they now realise how dangerous it was to do this.
“People don’t realise but breathing in only a small amount of smoke can actually kill you and sadly we’ve seen this happen during other incidents.”