Belfast Telegraph

Three people and puppy rescued from flat fire in Derry: smoke detector saved lives says NIFRS

By Claire Williamson

Three people have been rescued along with a puppy following a fire in Londonderry.

The police attended along with the Northern Ireland Fire Service and the Ambulance early on Sunday morning.

Police officers discovered the fire while carrying out enquiries in the Drummard Close area after they heard a smoke detector going off.

They forced entry and three people were rescued from the flat and firefighters using breathing apparatus rescued a puppy from the kitchen.

NIFRS Group Commander Barry McDowell told the Belfast Telegraph the accidental fire was caused by an unattended cooker.

He said that undoubtedly lives were saved by there being a working smoke alarm and the kitchen door being closed.

He said: "The police were in the area and the heard a smoke alarm activating and they contacted ourselves at 4.30am this morning.

"Three fire engines turned out to it with 14 firefighters."

Four firefighters then entered the building and wearing breathing apparatus they went to the upstairs flat which was smoke-logged.

Mr McDowell continued: "The fire itself was a small fire in the kitchen but the kitchen was heavily smoke-logged. It was an accidental fire caused by a cooker left unattended with the ring left on.  It was just the residue grease on the ring that caused so much smoke-logging.

"But because they had the door closed in the kitchen that no doubt helped save their lives along with the working smoke alarm."

Mr McDowell stressed the importance having working smoke alarms and to test them on a weekly basis.

He continued: "Switch everything off when you are going to bed at night.

"As part of your escape plan going to bed at night, if you close all your doors you'll give yourself every chance of getting out of a dwelling on fire if an accidental fire happens. Becuase it will hold the fire back behind the door to give you a chance to escape."

While Mr McDowell said it was not a "normal thing" to not hear the smoke alarm he said it does happen.

But he added: "If you've a smoke alarm you will normally hear it. If there is anybody with impaired hearing if they contact the fire service we can do a home fire safety check and liaise to get them special smoke detectors fitted."


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