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Incident Date: 25 January 2015
RESIDENTS across Greater Manchester were tonight provided with a stark reminder about home safety as three cooking-related fires involving elderly people broke out within about an hour of each other.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service revealed how crew attended three separate incidents with terrifyingly similar circumstances and warned people not only to be on their guard when cooking but to watch out for elderly neighbours and family wherever they can.
A spokesman for the Service said the first 999 call was received at 5.45pm to a flat in a sheltered accommodation block in Smithy Green, Cheadle. Crew from Cheadle and Offerton Fire Stations raced to the scene to find a grill pan on fire in a first floor flat.
In the second incident, less than an hour later at 6.40pm, crew from Chadderton, Hollins and Oldham Fire Stations were called to a flat in Eldon Street, Oldham. In this incident, the 999 caller feared an elderly gentleman was inside the property and firefighters broke in to find he had fallen on the kitchen floor with a pan of food on fire close by. He was rescued from the blaze and treated at the scene by the North West Ambulance Service.
Less than 30 minutes later at 7.05pm a third 999 call revealed how an elderly gentleman using a chip pan had caused a blaze that spread through his own flat and left a neighbouring property smoke logged. The man was out of the property when crew from Stalybridge and Hyde arrived but four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the building to tackle the fire. The man was given oxygen at the scene as he was suffering from smoke inhalation. He declined hospital treatment.
Assistant County Fire Officer Peter O’Reilly, also the Director of Prevention and Protection at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Cooking related fires and protecting our elderly community are both top priorities for us – so you can imagine how horrified and disappointed we were to have three 999 calls within the space of an hour or so tonight. These residents were extremely lucky not to have been more seriously injured or worse and we are thankful we were able to intervene so quickly.
“We are publicising these incidents for one reason and one reason only: to help others realise how dangerous cooking can be when you don’t concentrate fully on what you are doing. In addition, please do be mindful of elderly neighbours or family. If there is something you can do to help them please, do it.”
For more information about safety in the home and to find some tips about how you can help support our elderly communities in Greater Manchester please see here.