FIRE chiefs are stepping up work to ensure residents have smoke alarms in their properties after five people perished in house fires on the Fylde coast within a fortnight.
The tragic deaths of siblings Reece (below), Holly, Ella, and Jordan Smith, who died in a fire at their Freckleton home, and pensioner Alan Edwards, in a Bispham blaze, have prompted the fire service to organise a series of education roadshows this weekend.
Every fire station across the county will be open on Saturday to allow residents to collect a free smoke alarm and learn about how they can make “the difference between escaping from a fire or not”.
Peter Holland, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, said: “Despite the successful work the service has done in reducing the number of house fires in recent years, there have been two dreadful fires on the Fylde coast in the past month which has resulted in the deaths of five people.
“All our firefighters, especially on the Fylde coast, have been left devastated about the loss of life in recent weeks, especially when it is so needless.
“As such, we are launching the smoke alarm fire education roadshow day to encourage all members of the public to get a working smoke alarm and to test it regularly.
“A working smoke alarm can give you an early warning that there is a fire and it may be the difference between escaping from a fire or not. Every available firefighter on the Fylde Coast will be working on Saturday to give out smoke alarms to those people who need them.
Four youngsters 19-year-old Reece, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella, and two-year-old Jordan Smith died after a fire broke out in an attic room of their home on Lytham Road in Freckleton on Saturday, January 7.
Just a fortnight earlier Alan Edwards, 73, from Hastings Avenue, Bispham, was found dead by firefighters in his lounge on December 22.
Neighbours alerted fire crews and police to the semi-detached house when a fire was spotted in the front room – but a paramedic pronounced the pensioner dead at the scene.
All fire stations across the Fylde coast will be open to the public between 11am and 5pm on Saturday.
If you cannot attend and you still wish to get a free smoke alarm, call 0800 1691125 or visit website www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk to book a free home fire safety check.