08 October 2014

Firefighters were called to a small fire in a flat on the ninth floor of a high rise block of flats in Westcliffe, Essex, after a smoke detector alerted neighbours to the incident.

The neighbours then called the emergency services to the smoke-logged residence.

Crews from Rayleigh Weir, Southend, Leigh Hawkwell and Canvey attended the scene but only one crew, wearing breathing apparatus, was needed.

Sub officer Tony Vickress, of Rayleigh Weir fire station, told local reports: "The lady had just recently moved into the previously empty property and lit the incense candle but then left the flat.

"It filled the flat with smoke but there was no fire and the candle did not fall over or leave the receptacle it was burning in.

"Due to the high rise nature of the incident that is why so many crews attended, it is better to be prepared.

"One crew using breathing apparatus entered the flat and ventilated the property, which was clear shortly before 8pm

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

Original sources

Echo News

Essex Fire and Rescue