Colchester: Mum and children flee blaze

The scene of the house fire in St John's Road, Colchester
Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Serv

The scene of the house fire in St John's Road, Colchester Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Archant

FIREFIGHTERS have urged people to check their smoke alarms after a family had a lucky escape when a blaze broke out in their living room.

The mother and her two children, who live in Colchester, did not have working smoke alarms fitted in their terraced home when the fire started on Wednesday night.

Assistant divisional commander Lee Palfreyman said: “A mother and two children had a very lucky escape from this fire.

“There were no working smoke alarms in the house and if this had happened later when everyone was asleep, it could easily have killed them.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze just after 9.35pm and sent two crews to the scene who discovered the flames started in the lounge.

Mr Palfreyman added: “The fire was started by materials being left too close to a halogen heater.

“Incidents like this show how important it is to keep halogen heaters clear of all clutter and just how important working smoke alarms are.

Most Read

“Crews will be visiting the area to give neighbours advice on fire safety.”

Firefighters reported the whole of the house was heavily smoke-logged and that everyone was accounted for.

They used a high-pressure fan to clear the property of smoke.

Last year more than a quarter of house fires in Essex were homes that did not have a smoke alarm installed.

The fire service is urging everyone to test their alarms regularly.

Divisional officer Neil Fenwick said: “It is staggering to think that such a large proportion of the homes which suffer a fire do not have any working smoke alarms installed.

“Smoke alarms are proven life-savers. Statistics have shown that you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire in the home where there is no working smoke alarm compared to homes with an alarm present.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter