Fire Chief blames cause of Bwlchgwyn blaze on electrical fault

Published date: 24 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE cause of a fire which ripped through a dormer bungalow on Sunday is believed to be electrical, fire chiefs said.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze caused 95 per cent damage to the property in Wesley Road, Bwlchgwyn and have highlighted the importance of smoke alarms after all the occupants escaped unharmed.

At dawn yesterday, the true extent of the damage was apparent.

Much of the roof had caved in during the blaze, which broke out at 6.35pm and saw firefighters at the scene for much of Sunday night.

Yesterday, fire bosses said the family inside the house were alerted to the fire by the siren of their smoke alarm.

Tony Jones, from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fires are always devastating, but a family losing their home and contents just before Christmas is especially hard.

“We could have been dealing with a tragedy but thankfully no one was hurt in the fire.

“The early activation of the smoke alarm allowed them to evacuate safely and remove themselves from the danger of the situation.

“This kind of incident clearly demonstrates the importance of working smoke alarms.

“They really could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

“Due to the severity of the fire, it is not possible to pinpoint exactly what started the fire – however the probable cause is likely to be electrical.

“We attend around 470 accidental fires in dwellings each year and electricity or electrical items are responsible for over 300 of these fires.

“Around 90 of these fires are due to electrical faults – but the majority are caused by misuse of the electrical items.

“It’s important to operate appliances according to the manufacturers’ instructions and to check electrical items and leads for signs of damage or wear.

“So many residents use old or dangerous electrical items and overload their sockets, causing a potentially fatal fire risk.”

In Bwlchgwyn yesterday, there was sympathy for the affected family.

One resident who saw the blaze, who asked not to be named, said: “It was terrible. There was an awful lot of smoke and flames in the air.

“I think the thoughts of the community are with the family involved. It is such a shame.

“The fire service had a big presence, there were plenty of firefighters about.”

Another unnamed villager said: “It’s awful for anything like this to happen but particularly so at Christmas time. It must be dreadful for the family.

“I was relieved to hear that no one was hurt. I’m sure the whole village will feel the same.

“It was blustery on Sunday night with a strong wind which would have made conditions even more difficult for the fire service.”

Six fire engines, three from Wrexham and one each from Johnstown, Llangollen and Buckley, as well as the incident command unit from Rhyl attended the scene.

The crews used breathing apparatus and hose reels as they battled the flames.

About 30 members of the fire service were involved in the operation.

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