Man rescued from flat after failing to hear smoke alarm

IPSWICH: Firefighters had to smash their way into a flat to rescue a man who failed to notice his smoke alarm was going off, it emerged today.

Aaron O’Neil and his dog were ushered from his Chantry home after neighbours reported smoke coming from the ground-floor property.

Mr O’Neil was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation, but was otherwise unhurt.

Fire chiefs, who had to break in through a kitchen window, believe Mr O’Neil had left his cooker on, then fallen asleep.

However, Mr O’Neil denied a fire had taken place or that he had nodded off.

He said: “There was no fire. I put the grill on and went into my lounge to listen to my headphones.

“I guess the heat from the cooker must have set the fire alarm off. But I didn’t hear it beeping.

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“The next thing I knew, there were fire engines outside and firemen in my flat. I didn’t have a clue what was going on.”

The drama, which took place in Tern Road at around 11.30pm on Wednesday, highlighted the importance of smoke alarms, assistant chief fire officer Gary Phillips said.

He added: “Smoke alarms are your first warning that you need to get out of the building and this early warning signal could be the difference between getting out alive or not.

“You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven’t got a smoke alarm.

“It takes just two or three breaths of the toxic smoke for you to become unconscious, so the importance of a working smoke alarm couldn’t be clearer.

“They are cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit.”

n Has a smoke alarm saved your life? Tell us your story. Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.