FIRE chiefs say there could have been serious consequences had a smoke alarm not alerted a sleeping man when a fire broke out in his flat.
Bosses at Stranton Fire Station, in Hartlepool, have also warned about the dangers of having exposed candles near combustible materials following the early-morning blaze, in the town’s Ridlington Way.
The man who lives at the King Oswy flat, who is in his 50s, was taken to hospital to be checked over following the incident which happened around 3.40am yesterday.
The man had already made it out of the property, having been alerted by the smoke alarm.
Watch manager Ian Brown said: “It appears as though the cause was candles, with the flame somehow spreading to fabric after the man had fallen asleep on the sofa.
“Thankfully smoke alarms were fitted otherwise it would have been a serious fire.
“In this case smoke alarms proved to be a life-saver.”
“If people are using candles they must be in an appropriate container and away from combustibles like curtains.”
Two crews from Stranton, using four sets of breathing apparatus, tackled the fire, which damaged the skirting boards in the flat and caused the whole of the property to be smoke-damaged.
Call Cleveland Fire Brigade on (01429) 872311 for a free home safety visit.