Fire chief issues warning about smoke alarms

Hunstanton Fire Station Manager Neil Richardson. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Hunstanton Fire Station Manager Neil Richardson. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Neil Richardson, a fire station manager on duty this weekend, says a family had an extremely lucky escape from a fire in their home in Dersingham – because their smoke alarms were not working.

Mr Richardson, station manager in King's Lynn, is now urging everyone to check all smoke detectors after crews were called to a house fire in Dersingham, near Hunstanton.

He said: 'This could have easily been a very different Christmas for this family because of the lack of working smoke alarms.

'We could have been dealing with a fatal house fire.'

He added: 'I cannot stress enough how important working smoke detectors are in a property – they need to be checked weekly.'

Two fire crews from Sandringham and another from King's Lynn was called to reports of a teenager and dog trapped in a fire in Kings Croft at 8.40am on Saturday.

Firefighters managed to contain the fire to the bedroom where it had started, but the rest of the house was damaged by the smoke.

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The cause of the fire is said to be plug sockets overloaded with electrical goods.

Mr Richardson said: 'This family home is now not liveable – and that's a very difficult thing to go through at Christmas.

'It was very difficult taking the mother back inside the property to show her the damage.

He added: 'But we had to be honest and show her that the smoke detector had no working battery inside.

'If this had happened two hours earlier when the family was fast asleep, this fire would have been a fatal.'

For further information, visit the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service website at or call 0300 123 1669.