‘Thank god for smoke alarms’: Neighbours react to Suffolk cottage fire

Pictures of a fire in Felsham which left a 79-year-old man with burns and smoke inhalation Picture:

Pictures of a fire in Felsham which left a 79-year-old man with burns and smoke inhalation Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE - Credit: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

A couple who escaped from a house fire in a Suffolk village likely escaped due to warnings from newly-fitted smoke alarms.

Two people escaped from the blaze, one of whom was a 79-year-old man left with burns and smoke inhal

Two people escaped from the blaze, one of whom was a 79-year-old man left with burns and smoke inhalation Picture: MARK LANGFORD - Credit: Archant

The fire, in Lower Green in the village of Felsham, happened about 8pm on March 10, with four fire engines sent to the scene.

A woman escaped from the blaze but a 79-year-old man suffered from burns and smoke inhalation and required further medical care from paramedics.

Neighbour Barbara Sleigh-Ives named the couple as Brian and Sian Francis.

Ms Sleigh-Ives said: 'They heard the smoke alarm going off and went investigate as they were in another part of the house.

The fire started on the ground floor of a Grade II-listed property in Felsham, Suffolk Picture: MARK

The fire started on the ground floor of a Grade II-listed property in Felsham, Suffolk Picture: MARK LANGFORD - Credit: Archant


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'They're shaken up and were checked over for smoke inhalation but thankfully they are otherwise unhurt.

'I couldn't see any flames but you could smell the smoke. Thank God they had a working smoke alarm.

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'It's such a shock when this sort of thing happens, it just comes out of nowhere.'

Their house, Lower Green Farm, is thought to be about 500 years old and is Grade-II listed.

She said there were no flames to speak of but the property was badly smoke damaged.

The fire started around 8pm and it was Mr and Mrs Francis who called 999.

A spokesman for the fire service said that the fire spread across the ground floor of the home and that the wooden frame was 'well alight'.

They added that breathing apparatus, hose reels and positive pressure ventilation was used to tackle the fire.

Firefighter Henry Griffin tweeted after the incident, praising the owners' decision to have new smoke alarms fitted recently.

Mr Griffin said: 'The little guardian angel did it's job at a severe house fire last night.

'Fitted only months ago by the Suffolk Fire Prevention Team, it saved lives when needed.

'Thanks to the early alarm both occupants escaped with only minor injury.'

A fire service spokesman added: 'A serious fire in Felsham last night was dealt with by Fire crews from Elmswell, Stowmarket and Bury.

'Working smoke alarms fitted recently during a 'Safe and Well' visit helped save the lives of the two occupants.'

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