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Fatal fire caused by smoking materials

27 August 2019

STAFFORDSHIRE FIRE and Rescue Service is highlighting the dangers of smoking following a tragic fatal fire in Burton.

Crews were called to reports of a fire in a home in Winshill on August 18 at 9.03am. The fire started in the living room and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel jet to put out the blaze. An elderly woman was taken out of the property but sadly had died at the scene. 

A fire investigation was carried out and the fire is believed to have been started accidentally by smoking materials which came into contact with flammable materials. 

Smoking is one of the four fire death factors highlighted in the Service’s SAME campaign. These factors increase the likelihood of someone dying if they have a fire in their home; they are smoking, alcohol, mobility issues, and being elderly. 

Burton Station Manager John Kitchener said: “Our thoughts are with the woman’s family and friends at this difficult time. It is incredibly tragic to have someone pass away in a fire and we are hoping that by sharing this story we can prevent incidents like this happening in the future. 

“Unfortunately we see fires of this nature far too often and urge smokers to ensure they always put their cigarettes out properly in an appropriate ashtray, avoid smoking in bed, and take extra care when using lighters and matches. 

“Sadly nothing could be done to save this lady despite the best efforts of the firefighters. Our hope now is to stop this happening again.”