SHELDON firefighters dealt with two house fires last Tuesday evening but neither house had a smoke alarm.
Shortly after 6pm two crews were called to a chip pan fire in Springfield Crescent, Elmdon. And at around midnight they dealt with a fire in Somerland Road, Garrett’s Green, thought to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.
Crew commander Mark Clifton said: “There was no smoke alarm in either property. The people concerned were very lucky because, without doubt, smoke alarms can save lives.”
In the first incident an elderly man was distracted by a phone call and forgot about a pan left on the cooker.
“When he got back the pan was well alight and he tried to fight the fire. He threw a pair of curtains over the pan and called the brigade,” said CC Clifton.
“There was mostly smoke damage to the whole house because every door was open and it filtered through.
“We took the chip pan outside and the man, thought to be at least in his 70s, was taken to Solihull hospital as a precaution.”
In Somerland Road the family had gone to bed and crews were confronted with a fire involving a sofa, thought to have been caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials. It had been smouldering for some time.
“The fire had not developed properly, otherwise they would have been in trouble. A man and a woman were in there and got out safely.
“The living room was gutted and there was smoke damage throughout the property because doors had been left open. A smoke alarm would have woken them up more quickly,” added CC Clifton.
Two Sheldon-based crews and one from Hay Mills attended the Somerland Road incident.
? For a free home fire safety check, which could include fitting a smoke alarm, ring West Midlands Fire Service on 0800 389 5525 to arrange an appointment.