Smoke alarms enabled residents of a block of flats in Manchester to escape choking black smoke, which had started filling the three storey building, after a fire broke out on the ground floor.
Firefighters were called to Monton Mill Gardens in Eccles, in the early hours of Wednesday morning (19th November) and on arrival found residents making their way from the building. Nine residents in total were evacuated.
Watch Manager Terry Hand said: "It was a significant fire in the lobby. Luckily everyone escaped unhurt but it could have been really serious.
"Someone woke up after they heard a loud bang and smoke alarms started sounding. That helped to alert residents.
"It had the potential to be a much more serious incident, so it was fortunate there were smoke alarms fitted."
WM Hand added: "As firefighters carried out a search and fought the fire, the staircase became very smoke logged. The electric casing had created black, toxic smoke.
"They worked very quickly to bring the fire under control and then ventilated the property rapidly which helped to limit the smoke damage caused."
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.
Manchester Fire Service