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House fire caused by Christmas decorations leaves two people in hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:18 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 07 December 2018

Norfolk Fire Service are reminding people of the dangers of Christmas decorations after two residents were taken to hospital after a house fire in Watlington. Picture: Norfolk Fire & Rescue

Norfolk Fire Service are reminding people of the dangers of Christmas decorations after two residents were taken to hospital after a house fire in Watlington. Picture: Norfolk Fire & Rescue

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Two people living in west Norfolk were taken to hospital after a house fire caused by Christmas decorations.

Norfolk Fire Service are reminding people of the dangers of Christmas decorations after two residents were taken to hospital after a house fire in Watlington. Picture: Norfolk Fire & RescueNorfolk Fire Service are reminding people of the dangers of Christmas decorations after two residents were taken to hospital after a house fire in Watlington. Picture: Norfolk Fire & Rescue

The residents were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation following a fire on Thursday, November 29, caused by Christmas decorations being ignited by a gas lighter which was being used to light a candle.

The fire was extinguished quickly and only affected the lounge, as internal doors had been kept shut as part of their night time routine.

It has prompted Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to warn people to be mindful of fires around decorations, as well as keeping escape routes clear.

Gary Collins, head of fire prevention and protection at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The occupants were surprised at how quickly the fire took hold. This fire could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the prompt actions by the householders.

“We want all residents to have a safe and prosperous Christmas there are a few things people can do to help reduce the risk of fire.

“This includes switching off festive lights at night, not overloading plug sockets, not leaving cooking appliances unattended and taking extreme care with fireplaces and any candles.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are also reminding people living in buildings with communal escape routes to keep these areas clear in case of emergencies.

In the run up to Christmas, fire staff will be working with landlords, housing associations and local authorities across Norfolk to promote the safety messaging to the public.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “If a fire were to start in a communal space which is full of clutter or storage, the escape routes for residents could prevent or hinder the safe evacuation of people.

“Items blocking escape routes could also affect the speed the fire service as well as blocking firefighters rescuing the occupants.”

If any resident has concerns about clutter in their building, they should raise these concerns with their neighbours, landlord, management agency or local housing authority.

If residents cannot speak to their neighbour or landlord, contact Norfolk Fire on 0800 917 8137.

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