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Smoke alarm saves two in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 19:20 23 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

A SMOKE alarm is being credited with saving the lives of 18-year-old and her friend today after Christmas lights were blamed for a Felixstowe house fire.

A SMOKE alarm saved the lives of an 18-year-old and her friend after Christmas lights set off a Felixstowe house fire.

Donna Banham was today recovering from shock after the lights are believed to have set fire to her curtains and destroyed all the Christmas presents.

The blaze broke out just days after firefighters sent out a warning urging householders to ensure Christmas lights are switched off before people go to bed.

Miss Banham's dad Paul said his daughter and her housemate were woken up by their smoke alarm going off after a Santa sleigh sign, which was in her front window, set fire to the closed curtains.

The fire spread, destroying all the Christmas presents, her three-piece suite, Christmas tree and the curtains.

The room also suffered heavily from smoke damage.

Miss Banham had gone to bed forgetting to turn off the Christmas sign in her window, which was concealed behind her closed curtains.

Fortunately she closed the lounge door before going upstairs. That meant the fire was contained and smoke damaged just the one room.

Firefighters were called to the semi-detached home in Elizabeth Way, Felixstowe at 12.45am.

Today fire officers confirmed the blaze was caused by lights being too close to curtains.

Mr Banham, 43, said his daughter – a shipping officer at Felixstowe docks – was shaken up after the ordeal of being woken in the middle of the night faced with a burning lounge.

The front window was boarded up this morning and all that was left of the culprit of the fire, the Christmas sign, was a burnt wire frame.

Baubles from the Christmas tree and the sofa also littered the front garden.

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