Hornchurch woman, 94, saved from blaze by special alarm

16:34 13 November 2012

Havering's new fire chief- Chris Drew

Havering's new fire chief- Chris Drew


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.

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:


Latest Romford News Stories

53 minutes ago
Rosewood Medical Centre, Astra Close, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Maps.

Thousands of patients registered with a doctor’s practice will be automatically transferred to a different surgery following the retirement of a GP.


A proposal to install an ice rink in market place over the Christmas period is due to be considered by a council committee tonight (Thursday).

Yesterday, 16:46

A 1940s tea party was organised to raise awareness about dementia.

Yesterday, 16:20

A former coroner for Havering has been suspended and an investigation into his conduct launched after families complained of waiting more than a year for death certificates.

Yesterday, 15:30
Residents have expressed their concerns for the pilot police scheme which would see the borough's force merge with Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.

Residents have expressed their concerns at a new pilot scheme which would see Havering Police merging with other forces.

Yesterday, 14:38
There is queuing traffic on the A13 after a crash between two cars and a van.

There is queuing traffic on the A13 after a crash between two cars and a van.

Yesterday, 11:23
Lorraine Barwell was the custody guard who died at work after being attacked while taking someone into court

A woman who died from a brain haemorrhage after being kicked in the head while helping to transport a prisoner from court was posthumously honoured at an award ceremony.

Yesterday, 10:20
Children making masks for Halloween at the Fairkytes Arts Centre in Hornchurch.

Children got into the spooky spirit when they created their very own scary masks for Halloween.

Breaking News

Yesterday, 14:38
There is queuing traffic on the A13 after a crash between two cars and a van.

There is queuing traffic on the A13 after a crash between two cars and a van.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now