Woman hospitalised after North Ayrshire fire

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Kitchen fire in Fairlie began when flames from a toaster ignited a tea-towel.

A woman was taken to hospital following a fire at a house in North Ayrshire this morning (Tuesday 12 August).

Firefighters from Ardrossan and Largs were sent to the incident at Bay Street in Fairlie in response to a 999 call made to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) shortly after 6:30am.

The fire began when flames from a toaster ignited a tea-towel before quickly spreading to engulf the kitchen.

Group Manager Kenny Hankinson, the incident commander, said: “Our crews arrived to find the flames had taken hold of the ground floor and that people were still unaccounted for.

“The building was heavily smoke-logged – teams in breathing apparatus were sent inside to conduct both firefighting and search and rescue operations.

“They were equipped with three high pressure jets and successfully extinguished the flames. A systematic search of the premises thankfully established that no-one remained within the property.

“While this was ongoing other firefighters provided first aid to a resident who had already left the building and appeared to be suffering from shock and the effects of smoke inhalation.”

Firefighters requested an ambulance attend and passed the woman to the care of its team. After being assessed by paramedics she was taken to hospital for further treatment.

The incident commander praised the actions of the woman, who had made sure her quickly left the property

Group Manager Hankinson added: “We can all be very glad the householder had the presence of mind to get out rather than attempt to tackle the flames as we could be looking at a tragedy.

“This fire spread quickly and produced large amounts of toxic smoke – showing exactly why it’s important people immediately get out, call 999 and wait for firefighters to arrive.

“In this case the resident had made sure her property was protected by a working smoke alarm and it did activate.

“We need everyone to recognise smoke alarms are essential devices responsible for saving countless lives. Fire can strike anywhere and when it does early warning is crucial to preventing tragedies.

“This incident saw smoke from the property enter neighbouring homes, which must be a stark reminder that everyone needs to make sure they are protected by these life-saving devices.”

SFRS crews routinely conduct free home fire safety visits to help householders identify risks and take the simple steps needed to reduce the chance of fires and the injuries and deaths they cause.

If you or someone you know could benefit from firefighters’ expert advice then SFRS wants to hear from you.

Anyone can join Scotland’s fight against fire and register for a free home fire safety visit by calling 0800 0731 999, texting ‘check’ to 61611, filling out a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk or by contacting their local fire station.

As an extra level of protection people can also fit heat alarms within the kitchen, as these devices inform people of a fire but will not be activated by smoke produced as a result of cooking.