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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Furniture warning following fire fatality in Cumbria

Firefighters are warning of the dangers of furniture made from non-flame resistant materials following a house fire fatality in Cumbria.

Fire crews attended a blaze at a ground floor flat in Newtown Close, Carlisle, yesterday, where a 68-year-old man died.  The fire service said an old chair quickly became engulfed in flames and smoke after a discarded match set fire to a waste paper bin.

Due to its age the chair was constructed of non-fire retardant foam and fibre filling which the initial fire investigation has identified as the primary cause of the blaze developing.

On arriving at the flat shortly before 7pm fire crews, using breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet, forced entry and found the fire and casualty in the living room. The fire was extinguished and the casualty pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

Cumbria’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Adrian Buckle said: “This tragedy highlights the importance of fire retardant furniture, cushions and bedding.

“Fire can spread incredibly quickly and it takes hold much more rapidly if it involves older items that don’t conform to current fire safety standards.

“I’d urge people to check items around their home to make sure they are fire retardant and look at updating them if possible.

“Replacing out of date furniture does not need to be a major expense – many second hand furniture stores and social enterprises such as Impact stock furniture that meets modern fire safety standards.”

After the incident firefighters carried out a test on the chair and burned quickly, giving off thick toxic black smoke and it dripped burning droplets.



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