Man hospitalised after North Ayrshire fire

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Firefighters faced thick smoke and cramped conditions as they tackled the fire in Stevenston.

A man was taken to hospital following a fire at a flat in North Ayrshire this morning (Friday 11 September).

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews from Kilwinning and Ardrossan were sent to New Street in Stevenston in response to an emergency call made at 9am.

Watch Manager Graeme Forsyth, the incident commander, said: “The fire was in an attic bedroom and we immediately committed a team in breathing apparatus with a high pressure jet.

“They were operating in challenging conditions. It was very cramped and thick smoke meant their visibility was effectively zero, but they successfully extinguished the fire before flames could spread beyond the bedroom.

He continued: “It was fortunate the property was protected by a working smoke alarm as the early warning meant that the occupants got out and we were able to prevent the complete loss of the home.”

Two men were in the flat when the incident happened and firefighters requested an ambulance attend as one of them appeared to be suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

After being assessed by paramedics he was taken to Crosshouse Hospital near Kilmarnock for a precautionary check-up.

The fire is thought to have started when an electric heater ignited nearby materials. It occurred within an attic bedroom in a first-floor flat positioned above commercial premises.

Watch Manager Forsyth added: “This incident should remind everyone that fire can happen to any of us and we all need to recognise the risks.

“Portable heaters should never be left unattended for long periods of time and it’s vital that they are always kept well away from items that could easily catch fire, including clothing and furniture.

“It’s also important that householders make sure their exit routes are kept clear so everyone can easily get out if an emergency happens.”

He continued: “You simply can’t overstate how important it is for every home to have early warning of a fire.

“Toxic smoke from even a small fire spreads very quickly and it can fill a home within moments so the time bought by working smoke alarms can easily be the difference between life and death.

“Not only do these devices give people the chance to get out and call 999, they also give firefighters the chance to reach the scene and save both people and property.”

SFRS crews remained in attendance until the building’s power supply was isolated. All firefighters had left the scene by 10:50am.

Free home fire safety visits are available throughout Scotland and can be arranged by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

Arranged for a time to suit the householder and taking only around 20 minutes to complete, the visits allow local crews to highlight risks many people are unaware exist within their homes.

The firefighters help residents take simple steps to stay safe and even provide and install free smoke alarms where these are found to be needed.

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