Rescued Teenager Backs Smoke Alarm Campaign

Illustration of a smoke alarm warning of a fire

A teenager has backed a Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service campaign to encourage the use of smoke alarms after a device helped save her life.

Lauren Woodward said she would not have been aware that a fire had started in the kitchen of her first floor home in Holbury trapping her inside as she played on her Xbox in the living room.

However, when she heard the alarm she rushed to investigate and was able to call firefighters who arrived minutes later to rescue her from a window by ladder.

The 18-year-old Sparsholt College animal management student and cleaner was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

She said: “I had never really thought about smoke alarms up until now but if they had not been there I wouldn’t have realised there was a fire until I had smelt the smoke. I could have died.

“What really worries me is that I had just got out of the bath and could have gone to sleep – that thought made me extremely relieved that we had working smoke alarms.

“I would definitely urge everyone to make sure they have smoke alarms in their house.”

Lauren went on to thank crews from Hardley, Hythe and Beaulieu which attended the incident.

The fire started on the oven hob at Crawte Avenue on January 6 and was tackled by firefighters using two sets of breathing apparatus, waters jets and tactical ventilation.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is to put a smoke detector in the hallway at least 30cm from a light fitting or wall.

An alarm should also be installed on each level of your home and tested regularly.

In Hampshire last year 25 people were killed or injured by fires in buildings which didn’t have smoke alarms fitted.

Community Safety Station Manager Phil Barrett said: “The simple fact is fire alarms save lives.

“Firefighters see countless cases where these devices have alerted people and their families to a fire before it has spread and allowed them to leave safely.

“Sadly we also attend calls where no smoke alarms have been installed and we see the devastating consequences of this.

“As well as saving lives they enable you to call us as soon as possible so we have more chance of saving your property – minutes matter.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is running its #chokedup campaign to highlight the use of smoke alarms throughout January.