Fire chiefs call for people to check smoke alarms after Norfolk house fires

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Fire chiefs today called for working smoke alarms to be fitted at all properties after two people escaped by the 'skin of their teeth' from a blaze at their King's Lynn home.

The scene of Saturday night's house fire in Alice Fisher Crescent, King's Lynn. Just 100 yards away

The scene of Saturday night's house fire in Alice Fisher Crescent, King's Lynn. Just 100 yards away from another property where a man died in a blaze earlier this month. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Neither of the smoke detectors fitted at the property had batteries inside.

The blaze in Alice Fisher Crescent, north Lynn, which happened at about 11.30pm on Saturday, occurred about 100 yards from another property in the street, where a man in his 40s died in a blaze earlier this month. There were no smoke detectors working at that property either.

Afterwards, Bob Ayers, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service station manager for King's Lynn, urged people to make sure they had working smoke alarms on a weekly basis.

He added: 'Two smoke detectors were fitted in the right place at the house, but did not contain batteries.

The scene of Saturday night's house fire in Alice Fisher Crescent, King's Lynn. Just 100 yards away

The scene of Saturday night's house fire in Alice Fisher Crescent, King's Lynn. Just 100 yards away from another property where a man died in a blaze earlier this month. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

'The two occupants, who were on the first floor, had rescued themselves before our arrival, but it was by the skin of their teeth.

'A girl in one bedroom smelt smoke and woke up a man in a separate bedroom, where the fire was raging.

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'They rushed downstairs to get out, but the man had to go back upstairs into his bedroom to get the front door key.

'I've seen some sights in my 27 years with the service, but I don't think I've ever seen someone so blackened by fire, or so affected by smoke inhalation - the amount of smoke he took in was incredible - although he was not burned.

'If the girl had not smelled the smoke, we could have been looking at two more fatalities.'

He said the fire was probably caused by a tea-light - a candle encased in a metal cup - in the man's bedroom.

He added: 'The fire was contained in the bedroom but there was smoke damage to the first floor.

'The items that went up in smoke in the bedroom were all plastic, which caused the black talcum powder-type smoke.'

The occupants were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn suffering from smoke inhalation.

As reported, a man named locally as Chris Flegg died in a first-floor bedroom fire in Alice Fisher Crescent, on January 14, while his mother, Carol, was taken to hospital.

And last Friday a family in Westfields, Tilney St Lawrence, had an amazing escape after they were forced to either jump or climb down from first floor windows to safety. While they had a smoke detector, it was in the wrong room.

Have you had a lucky escape recently? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk