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Fire alarms save family’s life

Posted on 25 November 2019

A Chichester family had a lucky escape when their tumble dryer caught fire.

The tumble dryer, which had been recalled by the manufacturer, caught fire, setting the kitchen alight in the incident this summer.

Luckily the smoke alarms we had installed alerted the family to the blaze and Allie Sexton, her fiancé and two children managed to get out of their home with just minutes to spare.

Two fire crews from Chichester were called to the property and, after successfully tackling the blaze, removed the tumble dryer from the kitchen.

Matthew Lee, Decant Officer in the Hyde Empty Homes and Lettings team, was immediately on the case.

“I arranged a hotel for the family for the night, as soon as I heard from the fire brigade and our Property Services team. I also spoke with Allie to ensure everyone was OK and had everything they needed.

“I then searched our empty stock to find a suitable, available empty property for the family to move into the follow day, ensuring that an adviser from the Empty Homes and Lettings team carried out the ‘sign up’ the next morning.”

Matthew is now looking for a permanent home for Allie and her family.

Watch Crew Commander at Chichester Fire Station, Anton Mezzone, said: “It was very fortunate there were working smoke detectors installed in the property. The detectors alerted the family to the fire and thankfully they all got out safely.”

Jake Le Page, Hyde’s Building Safety Taskforce Lead, said: “Ensuring all our properties are safe is our utmost priority – the fire alarms in their home literally saved this family’s life.

“There have been a lot of stories in the news recently about potentially dangerous appliances from certain manufacturers but I would urge everyone to check their appliances, regardless of the brand, to ensure that they have not been recalled.”

Appliances of up to 12 years old can be registered at Register My Appliance, which will alert owners of any safety repairs or recalls.