HAILSHAM: Woman flees caravan fire

The fire damaged caravan
The fire damaged caravan

A WOMAN escaped from a burning caravan after a blaze broke out in the early hours.

Faulty electrics were blamed for the bedroom fire at Lion House Caravan Park in Mill House Road, Hailsham, on Monday September 12.

The drama unfolded in the morning when the unnamed woman got out of bed just before 7am and went into her kitchen to make a cup of tea.

She suddenly noticed the lights inside were dim and then a fire alarm started ringing in her bedroom. The woman returned to find the bedroom in flames.

Burning material began falling from the ceiling and the woman left her belongings and fled the caravan.

Four fire crews from Hailsham and Herstmonceux, as well as the Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) from Eastbourne, were rushed to the scene.

Firefighters used specialist equipment to put out the blaze, combating strong winds, and stayed at the scene until 10am to make sure the static caravan was safe.

The high winds had made the corrugated roof of the caravan unstable so the ALP was used to secure it. Residents nearby were told to close all windows and doors to stop smoke blowing into their homes.

The fire survivor later said there had been ongoing problems with electrics in her caravan and she had recently called in an electrician who could not find a problem.

Incident Commander Paul Sundaram-Hardwicke said, “She did exactly the right thing and got out as quickly as possible.

“It just goes to stress the importance of having a working smoke alarm as it alerted her to the fire and, particularly in a static home, fire can take hold and develop quite rapidly.

“Also, with a static home there is often only one way out and it’s imperative to get out and stay out as quickly as possible.

“I would like to remind people of the importance of having a ‘fire plan’ in place.

“If you have anything that is very dear to you then have them perhaps as part of your plan.

“Have them located somewhere where you can grab them quickly as you evacuate.

“The woman was extremely grateful to crews, who went back in to rescue her possessions of sentimental value.

“Thankfully, she suffered no injuries and hadn’t inhaled any smoke due to the working smoke alarm.

“If she’d been in there just a few more minutes she would have inhaled more smoke and would probably have needed medical help.”