Fire alarm saves forty residents from flat blaze

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FORTY residents had to flee a block of flats following a fire on Tuesday night.

Fire crews from Bicester and Banbury attended the blaze in a flat in Hometree House, Bicester at 8.17pm after neighbours reported smelling burning and hearing a smoke alarm going off.

The fire, which is believed to have been started accidentally, was in the kitchen of a first floor flat.

The elderly occupant of the affected flat, who had been assisted and encouraged to leave by concerned neighbours, was among those who escaped the building.

Fire crews managed to extinguish the fire.

Positive pressure ventilation fans were then employed to remove the residual smoke.

The flat resident was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by paramedics from South Central Ambulance Service and subsequently taken to hospital for further checks.

Incident Commander Group Manager Stuart Garner said, “This once again proves the value of working smoke alarms, as they have the ability to not only alert dwelling occupants, but also neighbours who, as in this case, are able to summon assistance”.

Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service urges everyone to check they have working smoke alarms in their property, test them once a week and carry out their very own Home Fire Risk check which can be initially completed by visiting