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London Fire Brigade today praised the actions of a teenage boy who saved his family from a fire caused by a fridge freezer in Battersea in south west London last week.
The fourteen year old noticed a strange smell at about midnight on Thursday and on investigation, saw smoke pouring out of the family’s kitchen.
He realised the fridge freezer was on fire so quickly woke his father and the family managed to escape.
Charlie Pugsley from the Brigade’s fire investigation unit said:
“The teenager’s prompt actions probably saved his family’s lives. The blaze could easily have ended in tragedy, but his quick thinking ensured that all seven family members escaped with only minor injuries.
“The boy’s actions were exactly in line with our advice, which is never to try and tackle a fire yourself, just get everyone out and call 999.”
All seven family members were treated for minor smoke inhalation at the scene by London Ambulance Service.
The Brigade said it expects to recognise the boy’s actions with a special award for his bravery.
Fire investigators believe the fire was caused by a fault within the fridge freezer.
To highlight the importance of keeping an eye on electrical appliances, like fridge freezers, the Brigade today released new figures which show that in the last five years there were:
• 278 accidental dwelling fires cause by fridges / fridge freezers.
• 62 people were injured.
• Seven people died.
Six people lost their lives at a serious blaze in 2011 in Neasden, north west London. A chest freezer in the hallway of the house is believed to have caused the fire.
Fire chiefs also stressed four easy things people can do to keep safe:
• Check electrical appliances and sockets and if you notice anything unusual call an electrician.
• Get a smoke alarm at home and check it regularly.
• Plan an escape route so you know how to get out if a fire breaks out. If it does, get out immediately and call 999.
• Call the Brigade and do not attempt to tackle the fire yourself.
The flat in Battersea did have a smoke alarm but it was not in an ideal position, so firefighters fitted two new alarms.
More advice on preventing electrical fires is on the Brigade’s website.