Man taken to hospital after fire at Hamilton flats

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Smoke from a fire in the communal close threatened homes above.

SFRS name line on appliance

A man was taken to hospital after a fire in the bin area at a block of flats in Hamilton caused smoke to enter the homes above.

Firefighters were sent to George Court in response to a 999 call made around 7:50pm on Sunday (9 August). The two crews from Hamilton Community Fire Station reached the scene within five minutes of being mobilised.

A single hosereel jet was used as two firefighters in breathing apparatus extinguished the fire and a positive pressure ventilation fan was deployed to clear smoke from the area.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews assisted a man who had begun vomiting after breathing in smoke, with the firefighters providing oxygen therapy until paramedics arrived. He was then taken by ambulance to Hairmyres Hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Station Manager Davie Murdoch said: “Even a small fire will produce toxic smoke that can quickly travel and endanger people in the vicinity.

“Fires in the communal areas at blocks of flats are always serious as the smoke threatens homes throughout the building. It will very quickly fill the available space, blocking the exit and leaving people trapped.”

Advice on how to keep communal closes clear and what to do if a fire does start is available on the SFRS website at www.firescotland.gov.uk/media/706798/common_stairs_posterflyer_generic.pdf.

Residents of flats can help reduce the chance of a fire happening by making sure their landings and stairwells are always kept clear.

Making sure door entry systems are always used will also help maintain security and reduce the chance of fires happening.

Where a fire does start early warning is crucial to minimising damage and preventing serious injuries, as it buys vital time for SFRS crews to bring the incident under control and reach anyone in danger.

Station Manager Murdoch explained: “The importance of having working smoke alarms can’t be overstated. They really are life-saving devices that no-one can ever afford to go without.

“Many people in the area have already invited our crews to conduct a free home fire safety visit and we want to hear from anyone who thinks they or someone they know could benefit from this popular service.”

A popular part of the Join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire campaign, the short visits are conducted by local crews and arranged for a time convenient for the householder.

The firefighters help residents identify and address common hazards many people are unaware of, develop a simple fire action plan so they know what to do in an emergency, and even install free smoke alarms where these are needed.

Free home fire safety visits are available from SFRS 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.

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