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30/8/2011 - Smoking warning after Carlisle house fire death

Firefighters in Carlisle are urging people to have their free Home Fire Safety Checks following the tragic death of a Carlisle woman.

At 4.44pm on Sunday 28 August 2011, two fire engines from Carlisle and one from Longtown attended a house fire on Grasmere Street in Currock, Carlisle.

When the crews arrived the ground floor of the property was well alight and one female casualty was rescued from the building by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus. The casualty was transferred to the Cumberland Infirmary by ambulance, but was later confirmed as a fatality. Four breathing apparatus wearers extinguished the fire using one hose-reel. The final fire engine left the property at 9.44pm. Further details can be obtained from Station Manager George Sansom on 01228 221606 during office hours.

Tragically the fire claimed the life of a 56-year-old female and following initial fire investigation it is believed the probable cause of the fire is that it was started by smoking materials after the woman whom fell asleep on the sofa had been smoking.

Carlisle's Station Manager, George Sansom said: "It is especially tragic when a fatal house fire occurs and a free Home Fire Safety Check could have substantially reduced the risk of a fire.

"During a Home Fire Safety Check, we not only check every room in the home for potential fire hazards, we speak to people about their everyday behaviour in the home to try and identify anything they do that may increase the risk of a fire in the home. This includes people who smoke - where do they smoke? What do they do with their cigarettes once they've finished with them?

"We'd urge people to use proper ashtrays on flat surfaces, where they cannot be knocked over and to ensure that when they put their cigarettes out, they are fully out. We'd also encourage people not to smoke near to combustible materials, such as bedding, sofas or curtains.

"Booking a Home Fire Safety Check couldn't be easier, you can call freephone on 0800 358 4777 or you can book online via our website. Anyone can have a free Home Fire Safety Check and we encourage those who have no had one yet to book theirs now. It could just save your life."

Crews have been in the area on a daily basis since the fire offering local residents free Home Fire Safety Checks.

George Sansom added: "Crews will remain in the area for the next couple of days so if you do see a fire engine around your way, please feel free to have a chat to the crew who will be pleased carry out a free Home Fire Safety Check or alternatively arrange a more suitable time and date to return."



Media enquiries to 01228 226338/ 221008/ 226601