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Staffordshire firefighters cigarette warning after fatal blaze

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

By Alison Thomas

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Staffordshire firefighters are warning of the dangers from discarded cigarettes after a blaze caused by a cigarette setting fire to a chair claimed the life of a woman.

An investigation has found that the incident, which broke out in the living room of the bungalow at Barrett Gardens, Milton, Stoke on Trent, was accidental.

Crews rescued the woman from the property shortly after 11am on Good Friday, April 18, and she was taken to University Hospital of North Staffordshire by ambulance. Sadly, she later died of her injuries.

Fire Investigation Officer Ian Read said: "Following a joint fire and police investigation we believe this incident to be accidental, caused by a lit cigarette falling onto a chair and setting it alight.

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"This tragic accident serves to highlight the dangers of smoking, how quickly such blazes can spread and the devastating consequences they can reap. Cigarettes burn at 700 degrees Celsius and can easily set combustible items alight. Sadly this is the second fatal fire in Stoke-on-Trent since the start of the year caused by a cigarette."

Anyone concerned about fire safety is being urged to book a free Home Fire Risk Check.

Crew members or technicians will visit people in their homes, check to see if their smoke alarms are working and, if they are not, they will fit a new one.

They will also talk residents through possible escape routes and check for potential hazards. To book call Freephone 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp.

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