A Tamworth man had a lucky escape from a fire at his sheltered housing flat – thanks to a sprinkler system fitted after a severe blaze at the same building five years ago.
Firefighters were called to the fire at Russell House on Bancroft, Glascote Heath, at 4am on Tuesday morning and rescued a 47-year-old man.
Two homes were affected by the blaze – one where the fire occurred and another which was water damaged. Both residents are now in temporary accommodation.
Following a previous fire at Russell House in July 2015, where the property was severely damaged and 24 flats evacuated, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) advised housing association Clarion Housing Group to fit the sprinkler system.
SFRS protect manager Stuart Ruckledge said: “Thankfully no one was hurt during the fire at Russell House this week.
“Had it not been for the fire sprinklers, there was the potential for more than 20 lives to have been at risk, as well as damage to the building.”
Fire crews from Polesworth and Tamworth attended.
A spokesman for Polesworth fire station said: “The on duty crew have just returned from a fire in Bancroft, Glascote.
“The incident happened around 4am this morning and involved a fire in a residential block with one male occupant trapped inside.
“Crews from Tamworth and Polesworth forced entry to a first floor flat and rescued a male occupant suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.
“A breathing apparatus team were able to fully extinguish the fire but a domestic sprinkler had already activated and suppressed the fire to a survivable level.
“A fire investigation officer is currently on scene establishing the cause of the fire.
“Please test your smoke alarms, working smoke alarms do help to save lives.”
A spokesman for Clarion Housing Association said: “The initial reports indicate that the fire started in a resident’s bedroom but was fortunately contained by the sprinkler system that we installed in the building in 2017.
“Our staff were on site quickly to help our residents and support the local fire service.
“We are providing support, including arranging temporary accommodation, to the residents of the two homes affected, one where the fire occurred and another home with some water damage caused by the sprinkler system.
“Our focus is on completing damage assessments and remedial work to allow our residents to move back into their homes safely and as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “One ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene. Crews treated one patient for minor injuries and he was conveyed to Good Hope Hospital for treatment.”