Smoking blamed for Queen Street fire

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A SENIOR fire officer has issued a warning to householders about the importance of smoke alarms and the dangers of smoking in the home following the discovery of a body in the burned-out bedroom of a terraced house in Somercotes. The victim has not yet been formally identified.

An investigation into the fire on the first floor of the Queen Street house has shown the most likely cause was smoking materials. Two smoke alarms were fitted to the property but there is no evidence to show they were working.

Community safety officers will be offering home fire safety advice to residents following a fatal house fire on Monday 11th April.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service personnel will be at the car park at Somercotes Market Place today and tomorrow between 10am - 4pm to speak to people living in the area as well as visiting homes in the area.

Station Manager Steve Helps said: “Unfortunately, we have had three fatal house fires in Derbyshire this year where there is no evidence of working smoke alarms in the properties.

“The importance of having fitted and working smoke alarms cannot be stressed enough. They give early warning of a fire, giving people time to escape from a property. Fires in the home do not discriminate and there are very simple things that people can do to minimise the risk of a fire in their own home and we would urge people to take them.”

Mr Helps said householders should ensure they had working smoke alarms and test them regularly, plan escape routes in the event of fires, do not leave cooking unattended and be careful with smoking materials such as cigarettes and matches.

More advice on fire safety in the home is available at www.derbys-fire.gov.uk