SENIOR fire officers are urging householders to folllow fire safety advice after a stray ember from an open fire caused a house blaze in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Crews were called to reports of a chimney fire in Park Lane, Knypersley, on Thursday night. When they arrived they found the ground floor well alight.
The occupant, a 69-year-old man, was out of his home when crews arrived. He suffered minor burns and was taken to Royal Stoke Hospital for treatment and has since been released.
Throughout the night firefighters attended from Biddulph, Sandyford, Hanley, Burslem, Kidsgrove and Newcastle.
A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Serice spokesman said: “The home was very crowded with belongings which meant that firefighters had limited space to work in and had difficulty reaching the fire.
“This meant they quickly used up oxygen through their breathing apparatus and had to work in shifts to tackle the fire.
“The fire is believed to have started accidentally by materials in front of an open fire catching alight.”
The following day crews from Stoke, Ipstones and Biddulph took it in turns to continue to damp down the fire.
Pictured: The house in Park Lane, Knypersley.
The fire service spokesman added; “As autumn sees evenings drawing in and becoming colder, more homes throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will be turning up the heat.
“Residents are urged to take action now to make sure their chimneys, open fires and log burners are as safe as possible during the coming colder months.
“Taking some simple steps to ensure that your fireplace doesn’t pose a fire risk could potentially save the lives of you and your family.
“To keep you and your family safe from fire it is absolutely essential that you check that your chimney is in good working order before using it. Chimneys need to be swept on a regular basis by a qualified sweep such as those certified by National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS). A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Each level of your home should have at least one working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm, and these should be tested weekly.”