A house fire at a Moorlands property, in which an elderly woman was tragically found deceased, was caused accidentally, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service has confirmed. Firefighters were called to a blaze on Castle Hill Road in Alton at around 10.05am on Friday (December 10) with crews from Cheadle, Ipstones, Leek and Longton all attending the scene.
A house fire at a Moorlands property, in which an elderly woman was tragically found deceased, was caused accidentally, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service has confirmed.
Firefighters were called to a blaze on Castle Hill Road in Alton at around 10.05am on Friday (December 10) with crews from Cheadle, Ipstones, Leek and Longton all attending the scene.
Alongside Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Fire Service, the service had launched an investigation after the 88-year-old resident’s passing was confirmed.
A spokesperson for the West Midlands Ambulance Service told the Times & Echo on Friday: “We were called to reports of a property fire on Castle Hill Road at 9.59am.
“One ambulance, two paramedic officers, the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford attended the scene.
“On arrival we discovered one patient, a woman. Sadly it quickly became apparent nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Officers from Staffordshire Police were also in attendance.
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service has now confirmed that the investigation into the fire found that it was started accidentally due to a halogen heater being placed too close to combustible items.
The fire service also believes no smoke alarms were fitted in the property.
Darren Jackson, Station Manager at Hanley and Burslem Fire Stations, said: “This was a tragic accident in which sadly a woman lost her life.
“Our thoughts remain with her friends and family at this difficult time.
“A joint fire investigation has taken place with colleagues from Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Fire Service which found that the fire started accidentally and was caused by the accidental misuse of a halogen heater that had been placed too close to combustible items.
“This is a stark reminder of just how much extra danger you can place yourself in by placing combustible items close to heaters unattended.”
On the topic of smoke alarms, Darren added: “Ensure smoke alarms are in working order especially during the festive period and thereafter.
“Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.
“The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.
“For maximum protection, an alarm should be fitted in every room (except bathrooms). You should choose the type most suited to the risk in each room.
“For minimum protection, the number to be fitted will depend on the type of home you live in.”
Darren continued: “If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably of the optical type, may be enough to provide you with early warning of a fire.
“If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level.
“In this case a combination of optical and ionisation alarms, preferably interconnected, will give the best protection.
“Do not fit an alarm in the bathroom, as steam may trigger the alarm.”
Following Friday’s tragic incident, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service has provided further advice to ensure residents protect themselves and their homes as best they can to avoid a fire breaking out due to a heater.
A spokesperson for the service said: “Never leave portable heaters unattended. Never leave portable heaters on whilst sleeping.
“Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over.
“Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials, such as paper or curtains
“Never buy second-hand halogen heaters. Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead – these can easily be overloaded and cause fires.
“Regularly inspect your heater for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it.”
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