Youngsters learn about fire safety

A group of youngsters dropped by Princes Street station to meet the firefighters who saved their homes from being destroyed by fire.

IPSWICH: A group of youngsters dropped by Princes Street station to meet the firefighters who saved their homes from being destroyed by fire.

The bedroom blaze could have ended in tragedy had crews not arrived as quickly as they did on August 5 to a hostel in Anglesea Road.

The fire broke out at Sanctuary Housing Association, which puts up young adults who are former youth offenders or are struggling to find work.

Thanks to the speed of the firefighters no one was injured and since the incident White Watch has been working closely with the residents to build relationships and educate them on fire safety.


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Soon after the fire, which was started by a lit cigarette, the firefighters were invited to the hostel for a barbeque and the new friends met up again at Princes Street to take a tour of the station.

Matt Canham, crew manager, said: “We attended a serious bedroom fire at a hostel for young adults in Anglesea Road.

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“It was a bit of careless use of naked flames but thankfully no one was hurt. A hard wired smoke alarm was installed and everyone got out safely, but another few minutes and they may not have walked away.

“The crew were asked to go back a week later for a barbecue to give the residents a chance to see the faces behind the helmets and reinforce our fire safety message.

“We built up a rapport and invited them to the station to show them round and tell them more about what we do.

“They are young and discovering all kinds of new things in life. It's easy to get carried away and get caught up in peer pressure. We wanted to advise them on the potential consequences of their actions.”

Nicola Walker, project worker at Sanctuary Housing, said: “This was a great chance for our service users to see the firefighters more as people.

“Those who went along to Princes Street can pass on what they learnt and share information with others at our regular house meetings.

“We have a fairly quick turnover here so it would be good for us to maintain a relationship with the fire service as new users arrive and our old users leave.

“It was lucky that no one was hurt in the fire but I think it made everyone realise it can happen.”

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