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Resident escapes Frankston Sth unit fire
The quick actions of a firefighter has helped an elderly resident to escape to safety, after a fire – thought to be caused by a faulty electric blanket – started in the bedroom of her retirement village unit in Frankston South at around 5.30am on Sunday 26 June.
The resident is believed to have woken up in the early hours of Sunday morning, and switched the electric blanket on while she went into the kitchen.
On returning to the bedroom she found the bed on fire and acted quickly to call 000, but was unable to evacuate due to the front door being deadlocked from the inside.
Four crews from Frankston and Baxter brigades attended the blaze, which took 15 minutes to bring under control and was contained to the room of origin. The resident was treated by ambulance officers then transported to hospital. No other residents at the retirement complex were evacuated.
Operations Officer Andrew Turner praised the actions of a dual Frankston/Baxter CFA volunteer brigade member who arrived on scene ahead of the first fire trucks and managed to assist the resident out to safety.
“The firefighter made forcible entry, he broke the glass in the front door and did well to quickly enter the property and get the resident out just as the Frankston pumper was arriving,” Mr Turner said.
“There was obviously quite a bit of damage to the bedroom but the whole unit was left heavily smoke logged.
“We think it’s possible the fire might have been caused by a kink in the wiring of the blanket which caused an electrical fault.”
Mr Turner said that the incident was a timely reminder for everyone to check their electric blankets.
“It's really important that you do check your electric blankets at the start of each winter for any damage to wires or leads, especially if it's been folded up in a cupboard over the warmer months,” he said.
“When you turn it on, always check for hotspots which are a sign that things aren’t right.
“If the wires look damaged or deteriorated – just get rid of the blanket or replace it straight away.
“It is also critical to make sure you aren’t overloading powerboards particularly in your bedroom with extra appliances such as blankets or heaters.”
CFA also recommends:
- Electric blankets should be laid flat and secured tightly on the bed
- Ensure that you turn off the electric blanket at the power point before going to bed
- Electric blankets are not recommended for use by babies or young children that may wet the bed.