A DAD has praised firefighters for tackling a fire which had threatened to destroy his family’s Sutton home.
The man dialled 999 after finding the loft conversion in his house filling with acrid black smoke last Tuesday night.
A small blaze had taken hold in the corner of the room after his 12-year-old daughter had been playing with a lighter, the Silk Street resident said. He asked not to be identified.
The incident also prompted fire officers to issue a plea to local parents to check their children cannot easily get hold of matches and lighters.
Crews from Mansfield and Ashfield arrived and controlled the fire using breathing apparatus before helping the family salvage their belongings from the upper floor.
“One of my daughters came down saying there was smoke, I went upstairs and it was everywhere” said the resident.
“I couldn’t see the flames but I could hear this crackling sound. We called the fire service and they were here within five minutes. They were brilliant.
“They helped clean up for us afterwards and fitted some smoke alarms afterwards for free. We’re relieved the house is in one piece and everyone’s ok.”
He added the thick smoke in the room had appeared to stifle the fire itself and help prevent it spreading.
Firefighters in breathing apparatus extinguished the fire after the family were evacuated and officers gave advice to the resident and his daughter.
Although around £3,000 damage was caused, the family were able to return to the house the next day.
A crew from Ashfield and one from Mansfield attended the incident at around 8pm on Tuesday. No-one was hurt.
Peter Brown runs Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Firesetters programme, which works with youngsters to help them understand and control feelings and circumstances that lead them to set fires.
He said: “Our advice to parents would be to ensure that matches and lighters are always kept out of sight and reach, as well as explaining to children that matches, lighters and other naked flames are not toys but can seriously injure.
“If you suspect a child may be setting fires you should be vigilant for signs such as lighters in school bags or under beds, burn marks in bedding or carpets and charred paper in sinks and bins.”
Residents should also ensure they have working smoke alarms on each level of their properties, he added. For more information visit www.notts-fire.gov.uk.