A GRATEFUL husband has thanked emergency service staff after they saved his 86-year-old wife who had collapsed on the floor, overcome by fumes.

George Davies said the firefighters and paramedics did a tremendous job after a blaze broke out at their home in Renfrew Close, Gwersyllt, yesterday.

The fire sparked at about 10.15am when a discarded cigarette stub Ivy Davies had placed in a bin reignited and set the contents alight.

Smoke detectors had been installed in the property and the alarm was raised.

“I was at the doctors’ surgery. My friend Walter Prydderch arrived and told me I had to come straight away. There was a fire at home,” said Mr Davies.

He said he felt terrible when he got back to Renfrew Close and saw what had happened.

But thanks to the quick action of firefighters his wife was safe and damage had been kept to a minimum.

“The firefighters and paramedics were great. Ivy was given oxygen and checked over.

"She has been shaken by the whole thing but it could have been so much worse. I am looking after her.”

And there was further drama in Gwersyllt later in the day. A child was among five occupants of a flat who had to flee for their lives when a lunchtime blaze broke out in Second Avenue.

Yesterday evening the residents, who did not want to be named, said they were also thanking North Wales Fire and Fire Service for their prompt action in rushing to the scene and tackling the flames.

The blaze broke out at about 1.20pm when a chip pan overheated and caught fire.

The five people in the flat evacuated after they were alerted to the danger by a smoke alarm.

Wayne Monslow, watch manager at Wrexham Fire Station, said: “Both incidents prove just how vital smoke alarms are.

"They act effectively as an early warning signal, providing a crucial opportunity to evacuate a property.

“My sincere advice is to throw away any old style chip pan – thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers are a far safer option. And take care when discarding smoking materials – ensure they are fully extinguished beforehand.

“North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks where a member of the service will visit people’s homes, give fire safety hints and tips, help residents to formulate a fire escape plan, and if necessary, fit new smoke alarms on every floor of their home – all for free.

“We can also replace old style chip pans with a deep fat fryer."

To register for the check, call 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.