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Quick-thinking officers stop fire at charity shop
5:00pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
QUICK-thinking police officers helped save a charity shop from going up in smoke.
Crews from Evesham Fire Station were called to the Vale Wildlife Rescue charity shop in Vine Street, Evesham, at 4.30am on Saturday after officers on patrol noticed a fire and raised the alarm.
Two occupants of the flat above the shop were evacuated as a precautionary measure and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly extinguished the fire using a hose reel jet.
The fire was started by items left on top of a night storage heater. It damaged a wall in the shop and there was also smoke damage throughout the ground floor, as well as slight smoke damage to the first floor flat.
Station Commander Phil Griffiths said: “It would seem that items left on top of a night storage heater at the shop caught fire when the heater came on during the early hours of the morning.
“Thankfully smoke detectors in the premises activated and passing police patrols heard the alarm and could see the smoke, and so called the fire service.
Our fire crews were quickly at the scene and extinguished the fire within minutes.
“This incident certainly had the potential to be more serious than it was as there were other night storage heaters in the shop with rails of clothes placed near them. If these had caught alight, a fire could have taken hold very rapidly.
“Night storage heaters are designed to come on at night but, of course, this is often when a room or a building is unoccupied.
To avoid the risk of a fire, be sure to keep combustible materials well away from your heaters and ensure the area nearby is free from clutter.
“Also ensure that smoke alarms are in working order as an early alert can help avoid injury and minimise damage in the event of a fire.”