Crews attend accidental fire caused by unattended chimnea

Rosenbauer parked next to fire engine

We are reminding communities about the dangers of garden chimneas following a recent incident in North Staffordshire.

Crews from Biddulph, Hanley and Sandyford, along with our colleagues from Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were called to a home in the Gillow Heath area just before 3am on Saturday (16 September) following reports of a garden fire.

Three fire appliances were used to extinguish the fire just before 4am which had spread to a neighbouring home.

A woman and two children were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but did not need to go to hospital.

We carried out an inspection into the cause and later deemed it to be accidental. Embers from the chiminea had settled on a log shed and caught fire.

Station Manager Jon Jackson, said: “Crews worked quickly at the scene to minimise the damage caused by this fire and make sure it didn’t spread further afield.

“When it comes to using chimneas, make sure it is secure and steady on its stand to minimise the risk of it toppling over.

“Avoid placing your chiminea on decking or near trees and structures like sheds or fences.

“And before you light your fire, make sure you have a way to put it out at hand, keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby just in case.”

Jon also advises on the importance of having smoke alarms in your property. He said: “Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.

“The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.

“For maximum protection, an alarm should be fitted in every room (except bathrooms). You should choose the type most suited to the risk in each room. For minimum protection, the number to be fitted will depend on the type of home you live in.

“If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably of the optical type, may be enough to provide you with early warning of a fire.

“If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level. In this case a combination of optical and ionisation alarms, preferably interconnected, will give the best protection.

“Do not fit an alarm in the bathroom, as steam may trigger the alarm.”