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A hard-of-hearing 94-year-old woman was saved from a flat fire when a specialist smoke alarm - fitted by firefighters just two weeks earlier - woke her.

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The Hornchurch woman, who fire teams have not named, was alerted by a vibrating and flashing under-the-pillow alarm, in the small hours of Friday (November 9).

The lucky OAP was able to escape her Fentiman Way home before the fire spread.

She was suffering from mild smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital as a precaution, but her injuries are not thought to be serious.

Chris Drew, borough commander for Havering, said: “Our crews fitted the specialist alarm during a free home fire safety visit just two weeks before the fire. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the alarm saved her life.

“Our crews visit the homes of thousands of Londoners each year, offering fire safety advice and fitting free smoke alarms where needed. It’s fantastic when that hard work pays off, as it did in this case, where this woman’s life was saved.”

A cupboard near the front door was badly damaged by the fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, and the rest of the flat was damaged by heat and smoke.

Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Hornchurch and Dagenham fire stations attended the call, just after 3.20am. The blaze was under control at around 4.10am.

The London Fire Brigade offers Londoners free safety visits, where firefighters visit your home offering advice on how to prevent fires and fitting free smoke alarms where needed.

You can book a free home fire safety at: www.london-fire.gov.uk

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