Warning after series of wood burner fires

Emergency services outside the fire in Copthorne Road
Emergency services outside the fire in Copthorne Road

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging owners of wood burners to take extra care after attending two house fires involving the appliances in as many weeks.

Two fire crews from Horsham were called to a semi-detached property in Kennel Lane, West Grinstead, at 3.54pm yesterday afternoon (November 29) after logs that had been stored too close to the wood burner caught alight.

One man suffered smoke inhalation and was given oxygen at the scene by firefighters.

The fire was contained to the kitchen and crews extinguish it using breathing apparatus and a hose reel.

The incident follows another fire which left a bungalow in Copthorne severely damaged.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was a ‘poorly maintained wood burner’ which set fire to nearby items. It took three crews more than four hours to extinguish and destroyed 90 per cent of the property.

Watch Manager at Horsham Fire Station, Kieran Smith, said:“Wood burners in homes have become increasingly popular with residents in recent years; consequently we have seen a rise in the number of fires involving these appliances.

“We would strongly advise people not to stack logs or place any other combustible materials directly next to wood burners and make sure that your fire is extinguished before you go out or go to bed.

“We would also like to remind people of the importance of having a working smoke detector on each level of their home and testing them regularly.”

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