Cigarette sparks Hamilton house fire

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The incident at a terraced house in Eddlewood resulted in a woman being taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.

SFRS name line on appliance 

A woman was taken to hospital after a discarded cigarette started a fire at a house in Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon (22 December).

The incident at Clydesdale Avenue in the Eddlewood area of the town was reported in a 999 call to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) made shortly before 3:05pm.

Two appliances from Hamilton Community Fire Station were mobilised in response and crews reached the scene around seven minutes later.

Watch Manager Damien Lavery, the incident commander, said: “We committed four firefighters in breathing apparatus and they were able to quickly extinguish the fire before it spread from a first floor bedroom.

“The fire had already caused significant smoke damage to that room and the heat meant the windows had failed.

“It would only have taken another couple of minutes for it to spread so the team did well to knock it down so quickly and prevent this home suffering much greater damage.”

The fire was caused by a discarded cigarette setting fire to bedding. No-one was in the room at the time and a woman who was elsewhere in the house got out and raised the alarm.

Believing her to be suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke, firefighters requested an ambulance and assisted her until it arrived. Following an assessment by paramedics she was taken to Hairmyres Hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Smoking materials are a common cause of house fires and SFRS crews are eager for the public to recognise the risk and take action to prevent tragedies.

Watch Manager Lavery explained: “Smoking is the most common cause of deaths from fire in the home, so it’s vital that everyone understands the danger and makes sure they aren’t putting themselves and others at needless risk.

“Cigarette ends can smoulder undetected for hours if they aren’t put out properly. The heat from one can easily cause bedding, clothing or other fabrics to ignite and start a fire that quickly spreads.”

He added: “People who smoke need to always put their cigarettes out properly in an ashtray and they should never leave a lit cigarette unattended or balancing on the edge of an ashtray, because it could fall as it burns.

“We also need people to understand that smoking in bed can have tragic consequences. It’s all too easy to fall asleep and for a devastating fire to start”

The advice from SFRS is never to smoke in bed and firefighters want people who have been drinking or are feeling sleepy to take extra care if they are smoking.

Anyone who is feeling tired or who is under the influence of alcohol is also urged to avoid smoking while sitting in a chair and to only smoke outside, standing up or at a window or outside door.

Before leaving the scene around 4:10pm firefighters cleared smoke from the house, checked adjacent homes were unaffected and also offered residents free home fire safety visits.

Conducted by local crews throughout Scotland, the visits also see firefighters check a property is protected by adequate fire detection and the crews even provide and install free smoke alarms where these life-saving devices are found to be needed.

Free home fire safety visits are available by calling 0800 073 1999, texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

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