Firefighters rescue two men from smoke-filled flat

Mon 22 Jul, 2013

Firefighters rescued two men from a smoke-filled flat in High Wycombe in the early hours of this morning. The men had fallen asleep and left a pan on the cooker.

Crews from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield were called to the fire, in West Wycombe Road, at 12.41am, after a neighbour saw smoke coming from the flat.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to drag the two men, who were suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke, to safety. Paramedics treated them at the scene.

Watch Manager Alex Strand, from High Wycombe Fire Station, said: "The smoke had filled the whole of the flat. If we had not been called when we were, I don't think they'd be here today."

Firefighters used a hose reel to put out the fire and a large fan to clear the smoke.

Firefighters are now urging people to take extra care in the kitchen. Alex said: “This fire has illustrated the importance of not leaving your cooking unattended. It only takes a moment’s distraction for a fire to start in your kitchen."

More than half of all accidental house fires in England are caused by mishaps involving cookers, grills, ovens and microwaves. Last year, 150 of the 287 accidental house fires in Buckinghamshire, and 107 of the 158 accidental house fires in Milton Keynes, started in the kitchen.

 Alex offered the following tips:

  • Double-check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking.
  • Don't start cooking if you are tired or have been drinking alcohol.
  • If you need to leave the kitchen while cooking, take pans off the heat or turn the heat right down to avoid risk.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can easily lead to a fire.
  • Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep matches and saucepan handles out of children's reach.
  • Carry out a weekly check on your smoke alarms by pushing the "test" button. If you don't have smoke alarms, ring Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on 01296 744477 or send an email to