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Firefighters forced to break into two homes to rescue sleeping men

Huddersfield and Heckmondwike occupants both woken by their doors being put through

Firefighters had to break into homes twice over the weekend to rescue men who had fallen asleep while cooking.

And the incidents prompted a reminder from the brigade about the benefits of having working smoke alarms.

In the first incident Huddersfield firefighters had to force entry to a terraced home in Milnsbridge in the early hours after there was no response from the occupant.

A neighbour dialled 999 after hearing a smoke alarm and seeing smoke pouring out of the kitchen window.

One pump from Huddersfield fire station attended the incident at 4.30am on Saturday.

Crow Lane, Milnsbridge. Pic courtesy of Google Maps

The firefighters broke into the property and rescued a man in his 30s who was asleep.

He was treated by paramedics but it is not thought he was taken to hospital or seriously injured.

Police also attended the incident.

Watch Commander, Andy Wooller, said: “This incident shows the value of having a working smoke alarm fitted.

“The smoke detector probably saved his life as it woke his neighbours who called 999.”

The fire was found to be in the kitchen of the property but no significant damage was caused.

Read more: Firefighters break into home to rescue sleeping man

The second incident saw Cleckheaton firefighters smash their way into a flat in Heckmondwike.

A fire was reported at 4.20pm on Saturday in a block of flats on Lavender Croft.

The 25-year-old male occupant, who was asleep in the lounge, could not be stirred so officers broke in and woke him up.

He was escorted out but refused treatment.

The smoke had been caused by food in the oven and no serious fire had taken place.

Firefighters used their fan equipment to clear the smoke from the property.

A smoke alarm
A smoke alarm

Between April 2014 and the end of March 2015, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service staff carried out 42, 367 free safety checks and fitted 50,921 smoke alarms.

During the same period there were 1,254 fires in homes across West Yorkshire.

In 696 cases there was a smoke alarm fitted which sounded.

In 261 cases there was no smoke alarm fitted in the property.

In 297 cases there was a smoke alarm but it did not work.

Fire Prevention Manager Sarah Laidlow-Moore said: “It’s a fact that working smoke detectors save lives and they do need to be tested regularly and kept clean to do their job.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t regularly test their detectors when they are key to saving a loved one’s life in a house fire.”



Doug Thomson
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