FIREFIGHTERS have urged Swindon families to have working smoke alarms fitted.

It comes as four young children were spared serious injuries in a town centre house fire last night, thanks to their home’s smoke alarm.

Two crews from Swindon fire station were scrambled to a terraced house in Crombey Street shortly before 2am this morning.

Firefighters tackled the blaze in the ground floor kitchen, which started when cooking was left unattended.

Smoke from the kitchen fire triggered the house’s smoke alarm, alerting the house’s five occupants to escape without injury. Four children were led to safety from the house by firefighters.

Group Manager Seth Why, head of fire safety for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS), said: “The attending crews reported that the house had working battery operated smoke detectors, which activated and raised the alarm.

“There was already a lot of smoke from the fire and that could have been a serious risk to life had the family not been woken up.

“Crews safely extinguished the fire wearing breathing apparatus and using hosereel jets, while ventilation fans were used to clear the house of smoke.”

The four children who were rescued from the house were treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics, but were not taken to hospital.

DWFRS’s Seth Why added: “Although this fire was relatively small, there was still a real danger to the occupants because of the smoke.

“Leaving cooking attended is never a good idea, as it can easily escalate to a fire, so we would remind people to not get distracted and take care while in the kitchen.”

He said that the incident, which was also attended by paramedics and police, proved the importance of having a working fire alarm.

According to the fire service, people are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if they haven’t got a working smoke alarm.

To ensure they are in working order, fire alarms should be tested once a week, their batteries changed every year, cleaned using a soft brush every three months – and the whole alarm replaced every decade.

For home fire safety advice, or to request a home visit from fire safety officers visit, visit: