Firefighters rescue man from flat

17 May 2010

Firefighters rescued a man from his smoke-filled flat in High Wycombe last night.

Two crews from High Wycombe Fire Station were called to a first-floor flat in Fieldhouse Court, Gomm Road, shortly before 10.30pm. The man had fallen asleep after putting a pan of food on to cook.

Watch Manager Jon Franklin said: "A neighbour rang 999 after hearing the smoke alarm going off and smelling smoke.

"Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the flat with a hose reel after we forced an entry. They found the man lying on the sitting room floor.

"After waking him up, they led him to safety and gave him oxygen outside.

"The crews worked very swiftly and thoroughly and we are very pleased that we were able to reach the occupant in time."

There was a small amount of fire damage in the kitchen and the flat was smoke-logged. A number of residents in the three-storey block were evacuated after firefighters entered the flat as smoke started spreading to other parts of the building.

The fire was the latest in a series caused by people cooking when they are tired. Jon said: "It only takes a moment’s distraction while cooking for something like this to happen, and it only takes a few lungfuls of smoke to render you unconscious.”

He offered the following kitchen safety tips:

  • Don’t cook when you’re tired or if you’ve been drinking. If you are hungry, have something that doesn’t need to be cooked!

  • Don’t leave pans unattended. Take them off the heat if you have to leave the room. Fire starts when your attention stops.

  • Check that you have turned off the oven, cooker or hob when you have finished cooking.

  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean. A build-up of fat and grease can easily catch fire.

  • Don’t put anything metallic inside the microwave.

  • Take care if you are wearing loose clothing – it can easily catch fire.

  • Don’t overload sockets – use one plug in each socket. If you have to, use a fused adaptor and keep the total output to no more than 13 amps.

  • Remember – high-rated appliances like washing machines always need their own socket.

  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.

  • Check the toaster is clean and is away from curtains and kitchen rolls.

  • Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used and service them regularly.

  • When you’ve finished cooking, make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.

  • Don’t use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer.

  • Turn saucepan handles so they don’t stick out from the hob.

  • Keep the oven door shut.

  • Keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker.

  • The kitchen isn’t a play area – don’t leave children on their own in the kitchen, and keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.