Prestwich woman makes ‘extremely lucky’ escape from flat fire – while her four pets die due to untested fire alarms

By Danielle Wainwright

A woman was saved from a fire in her Prestwich flat by a neighbour’s cries yesterday – yet her four pets were not as lucky and died from smoke inhalation.

Two cats and two parrots tragically died in the fire, which wasn’t detected until too late due to non-functioning smoke alarms.

Fire-fighters also credit the 47-year-old woman’s night time routine for her lucky escape, as closing the bedroom door behind her may have limited the smoke entering her bedroom.

When crews from Whitefield, Broughton and Agecroft fire stations were called to the ground-floor flat on Clifton Road, at 10.10am, the woman had already escaped.

The fire involved an electric hob in the kitchen which had been left switched on and although the fire had burnt itself out, the entire flat was heavily smoke-logged.

Station Manager Ben Levy, who was in charge of the incident, said: “This incident could have been a very tragic one if it wasn’t for the fact that the woman had closed the door behind her when she went to bed and that a neighbour raised the alarm.

“The fire had burnt itself out but it created a lot of thick black smoke throughout the flat, which unfortunately killed two cats and two parrots.

“This woman is extremely lucky to be alive – if she had left the door open I am quite sure we would have been dealing with a fatal incident.”

The woman was taken to hospital after receiving oxygen therapy at the scene.

Crews are returning to the area this afternoon to provide reassurance to residents and give out vital home fire safety advice.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “This incident highlights the importance of having a proper bedtime routine, which includes ensuring all cookers and hobs are switched off and all candles and cigarettes are fully extinguished before going to bed.

“Shutting your internal doors when you leave the house or go to bed can prevent a fire from spreading – and in this case undoubtedly saved a woman’s life.

“Please ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home and that they are regularly checked to ensure they are in good working order – it’s so easy to get one and could save your life one day.”

For further advice on how to keep yourself and your family safe from fire in your home, visit the GMFRS website here:

Picture courtesy of Tehusagent, with thanks.

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