Safety warning after pensioner rescued from fire

AN ELDERLY man was rescued when a blaze broke out at his home on Monday night.

The 93-year-old had left a dinner tray on a hob which was switched on. Instead of leaving his home in Redman House, Meads Road, he stayed put and had to be rescued by a warden and firefighters.

Two fire engines from Eastbourne and another from Pevensey were called to the assisted accommodation complex at 8.10pm. When crews arrived the whole building had already been evacuated and an assistant warden had gone into the flat to rescue the man and the pair made their way down the stairs, as firefighters headed up.

The incident has now prompted a warning from fire chiefs urging people not to use their kitchen hob as a work surface.

Watch Commander Vince O’Neill said, “The man possibly did not realise the severity of the fire but we would always urge people to immediately leave the building. The assistant warden had gone into the room, which we would not want to encourage. If the fire had been slightly more involved and flashed out we could have been looking for two people, not one.

“Please be aware of the dangers of leaving things on the hob when it’s on. It’s a recipe for disaster regularly using a hob as a work surface, this should always be avoided, even when off.

“If anything catches light just leave the property immediately, instead of opening windows, then you won’t have people putting themselves at risk. We are going to follow-up this incident with a safety visit to Redman King House to educate them on what to do in the event of a fire.”

The pensioner was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and crews remained at the incident for 40 minutes putting out the fire and clearing the flat of smoke.