Smoke alarm saves Ipswich family home

Fire crews at the incident in Wherstead Road, Ipswich Picture: PAUL GEATER

Fire crews at the incident in Wherstead Road, Ipswich Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich home was saved because the family’s smoke alarm alerted them to a Sunday lunchtime blaze, firefighters have said.

They were called to the semi-detached house in Wherstead Road shortly before 12.30pm after a smoke was seen coming from the roof a first-floor extension.

Three appliances from the Ipswich East, Princes Street and Holbrook fire stations were sent to the blaze and managed to remove the ceiling and gain access to the eaves.

The fire was extinguished within an hour and while there was some damage, it was far less than had it gone undetected.

Station commander Phil Geeson from Suffolk Fire and Rescue said: “We responded to the call and were able to deal with it quickly and prevent the fire spreading.

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“The family were in the house and did the right thing in alerting us so soon. The fact there were working smoke alarms which alerted them to the fire certainly helped to get us in there before it became a major incident.

“This shows exactly why it is so important to have working smoke alarms in place. It means that no one was hurt although the family were in the house, and the damage is much less than it otherwise might have been.”

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There was some minor traffic congestion as firefighters had to direct vehicles around the fire appliances on Wherstead Road while the firefighters were on the premises.

Mr Geeson said: “We’re sorry about the delays that were caused – but I’m sure drivers will appreciate why that was necessary.”

Figures from the Home Office show that 79% of homes have fire alarms, but only 28% of homes that have had a fire have a smoke alarm fitted.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue recommends that fire alarms should be tested every week and have a new battery fitted at least once a year.

They should also be vacuumed and cleaned once a year in a bid to ensure that they will work effectively if a fire does break out anywhere in the home.

Leaflets explaining why smoke detectors are so important and how they should be fitted and maintained can be found on Suffolk Fire and Rescue service’s website.

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