Two rescued from North Lanarkshire flats

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Control room personnel provided fire survival guidance to a woman trapped in her home.

Fire Engines Night

Firefighters rescued two people from flats in North Lanarkshire after flames broke out in a close during the early hours of Friday (April 26). The incident took place at Kildonan Court in Newmains shortly after 1:30am and saw four appliances - from Motherwell, Carluke, Shotts and Yorkhill - attend the scene. 

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) personnel at Johnstone's Operations Control remained on the telephone with a woman who was unable to escape the building due to large amounts of thick smoke filling the stairways. They provided expert fire survival guidance throughout the incident, talking to her until firefighters were able to reach the property and lead her safely from the building.

Six firefighters donned full breathing apparatus to conduct search and rescue operations throughout the three storey premises. The crews used a single high-pressure water jet to douse the fire, which was located in a bin shed.

Two casualties - the woman and a man - were rescued from separate flats within the block. After being evacuated from the close they were passed to the care of the ambulance service, who provided precautionary check-ups and treatment for slight smoke inhalation.

Area Manager John Miller, the senior fire service officer in North Lanarkshire, said the incident was a clear example of why all homes must have working smoke alarms. He explained: "This fire produced a large amount of smoke that quickly travelled throughout the building and prevented residents leaving properties on the upper floors.

"Despite being unable to exit the building, one resident was able to take steps to protect her property from the smoke and keep herself safe until help could arrive. By staying calm and following the advice of control room staff she bought vital time for rescuers to reach her.

"We have to accept that fire can strike anywhere and if it does then early warning can make the difference between life and death. Working smoke alarms provide precious seconds for residents to leave their property or, where that isn't possible, to move to a safe place and await help.

"Every household should have a fire action plan, where everyone living there knows what they should do in the event of a fire. Closing doors fully will keep smoke and flames at bay for some time and it is something everyone should do at night as a matter of routine.

"I would like to praise both the control room and operational firefighters who attended this incident. Thanks to their professionalism and skill our community did not wake up to a tragedy this morning."

Firefighters are eager for the public to help them protect communities across Scotland and SFRS officers have called for active citizens to join the fight against fire. Free home fire safety visits see residents welcome crews for some friendly advice, with the firefighters even fitting free smoke alarms where they are needed.

Freephone 0800 0731 999 or text “CHECK” 61611 to book a visit, or find out more by logging onto www.firescotland.gov.uk for more information.

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