GALLERY: March man says smoke alarm saved his life after fire destroys home

17:14 30 May 2014

Bungalow fire at Kelsey Way, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Bungalow fire at Kelsey Way, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

An elderly man says his smoke alarm saved his life after a fire ripped through his bungalow on Wednesday.

Thomas Lowe’s bungalow in Kelsey Way, March, suffered serious damage in the fire, which was caused by an electrical gas boiler fault.

But, thanks to his smoke alarm, Thomas Lowe was able to get out in time unharmed.

He said: “If anyone takes the batteries out of their smoke alarm they are mad. It saved my life.

“When it went off I thought ‘that annoying thing’ but when I saw smoke coming out of the ceiling I realised what was going on.”

One crew from March, one crew from Chatteris and one crew from Wisbech were called to the fire at 2.25pm.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cut away parts of the roof to enable the bungalow to be ventilated before returning to their stations by 4.40pm.

Station Commander Jerome Neville, incident commander, said: “Crews at this incident did a very good job, meaning that although the property has suffered some serious damage, it has not been completely lost.

“There is considerable smoke and heat damage to the majority of the property and unfortunately this was because a lot of the doors in the house were not closed.

“The best way to prevent a fire spreading is to keep the doors of your property closed and we would encourage residents to do this whenever possible and to always have a correctly fitted working smoke alarm.

“This boiler had been serviced recently but let this incident be a timely reminder to homeowners to make sure their boiler is regularly serviced and looked after properly.”

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