FIRE chiefs have warned people to make sure discarded cigarettes are put out properly after a bedroom fire.
A pensioner, believed to be in her 70s, managed to get out safely after the fire at her house, in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool, which caused damage to her bedding, carpets and floorboards.
Fire chiefs blamed a lit cigarette for causing the blaze, which caused 20 per cent fire damage and 100 per cent smoke damage to the bedroom.
Bosses have also slammed the makers of a prank call, which sent crews to a suspected chip pan fire in Cornwall Street half an hour before the incident.
They say had it happened 30 minutes later, it could have tied up resources when they should have been dealing with the Rossmere Way incident.
Two crews from Stranton Fire Station and one from Stockton attended the bedroom fire at around 4pm yesterday.
Watch manager Andy Hardy said: “We received a report of smoke coming from a bedroom.
“When we got there it was apparent that the cause was a not very well discarded cigarette.
“The lady was being led from the house by a passer-by.
“The ambulance service attended, as it was nearby, and checked the woman over.”
He added: “If you are going to smoke indoors, make sure you discard cigarettes properly, it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
Referring to the prank call, Mr Hardy said: “Had it been half an hour later, we might have been stuck there when we should have been at Rossmere Way.
“These malicious acts could put lives in danger.”