Mother and baby flee house blaze

House fire at Caunce Street, Blackpool
House fire at Caunce Street, Blackpool
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A TERRIFIED young mother grabbed her baby and fled for their lives as fire ripped through their home.

The householder was in a room on the first floor of the terraced property on Caunce Street when she smelled smoke coming from downstairs.

After their desperate dash to escape the flames, the woman and infant were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment.

Firefighters told The Gazette the pair were taken for a check-up as a “precautionary” measure following their ordeal and had made a quick escape as the flames took hold.

Neighbours were also forced to evacuate after the blaze broke out in the living room of the house shortly after 1pm yesterday.

Incident commander station manager Jon Charters, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “When we arrived there was a well developed fire on the ground floor of one of the mid-terrace properties.

“There was a huge quantity of smoke within the property and we could see flames in the front room.

“We had four breathing apparatus wearers and a ventilation unit and hose reel were used after we gained access to the property.

“There was a young woman and a baby in the house who had come out prior to us getting to the incident, and both the ground floor and first floor were quickly searched in case there were any further occupants.”

The house suffered extensive smoke damage in the incident, which was attended by two crews from Blackpool’s Forest Gate fire station.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is now under way, but Mr Charters said initial inquiries showed it was likely to have been caused by an electrical fault.

He added: “From the looks of it, it was a smouldering fire and the woman was upstairs, so it was smouldering away for some time.

“She smelled the smoke, came downstairs and the baby and got out.”

Passer-by Chris Hull, from Poulton, who saw the drama unfold, said: “There was dense smoke everywhere.

“I saw the police and fire engines coming up Caunce Street.

“It was well ablaze with smoke coming out of the building.”

Another eyewitness described seeing the woman run from the building holding her baby.

The property did not have a working smoke alarm, and the fire service today stressed the importance of detectors in the aftermath of the incident.

Mr Charters added: “On this occasion it was fortunate the occupants were up and at home and they were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke.

“However, the fire service can’t stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm.”

Anyone who requires a free fire safety check should contact Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 169 1125.