Rainham family escape fire after chicken coop catches light

A Rainham family’s lives were saved by their smoke alarm, after a homemade chicken incubator caught fire this morning.

Firefighters from Wennington and Dagenham fire stations attended the bungalow in Berwick Road, at around 1.45am.

The three adults were able to evacuate their property unhurt, and the fire was out by 2.30am.

Joe Reeves, who lives in the property with his wife and daughter, said: “Five more minutes inside and I reckon we’d have been dead.

“Had it not been for the smoke alarm we might not have woken up and been able to get out so quickly so I’d just say to everyone: get one today, it could save your life.


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“I’m grateful to the firefighters who arrived so quickly which meant that the damage to our home wasn’t too severe.

“The ambulance crew were also fantastic, they thoroughly checked us over and managed to calm my wife down who was coughing from the smoke.”

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The makeshift incubator was made by Joe’s wife, a teacher who had brought a chick home for the night.

She had made it, using a cardboard box, some sawdust and a clip on spotlight to keep the chick warm.

Officers from the brigade’s fire investigation team believe the spotlight fell off the box into the sawdust, which then started smouldering and eventually caught fire.

Watch manager Narinder Dail, said: “There’s no doubt this family were saved by the smoke alarm which woke them up and enabled to them to quickly escape.

“Fortunately no one was seriously hurt but sadly the chick didn’t make it.”

The bungalow was partly damaged by fire. A stool, on which the incubator was positioned and a nearby sofa, were also damaged and there was smoke damage throughout the property.

Firefighters went back to the area later to advise people in neighbouring houses about fitting smoke alarms.

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