‘Don’t just test smoke alarms, listen to them,’ warns firefighter after Hemel Hempstead home blaze

Damage to a bedroom after a house fire in Ninian Road.

Damage to a bedroom after a house fire in Ninian Road.

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A firefighter has warned of the dangers of being complacent when it comes to hearing your smoke alarm sounding.

Two crews from Hemel Hempstead fire station were called to a blaze in a middle floor bedroom of a three-storey town house in Grovehill’s Ninian Road at 5pm on Tuesday.

An electrical fault had started the fire while the family were out, but smoke alarms were dismissed in nearby homes as neighbours assumed a fault in the device.

Green watch commander at the Queensway fire base Nick Ashman said: “When smoke alarms go off because of cooking, people don’t tend to do much about it. If you do hear a smoke alarm – even if you’ve heard it before from malpractice – don’t get complacent. Put a call in.”

The fire had built up for a period of time before one of the tenants came home and called the emergency services. Hosereels and thermal imaging cameras were used by crews as they tackled the blaze, and the family have been temporarily rehoused by Dacorum Borough Council.