Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 06 May 2014
A BEDROOM was completely gutted and a man was taken to hospital after a cigarette sparked a blaze in Heywood.
Firefighters from Heywood Fire Station were called to a block of flats in Whalley Road at 12.06am on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
When they arrived they discovered a fire in the bedroom of a ground-floor flat.
A smoke alarm inside the property raised the alarm after the occupier fell asleep whilst smoking a cigarette.
The alarm allowed the 52-year-old man time to escape the flat before crews arrived but he was suffering from smoke inhalation.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital and was later discharged.
Crews used jets to fight the fire and a fan to clear the smoke.
Head of Prevention at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), Wayne Shields, said: "It's really important that if you do smoke, you always make sure cigarettes are discarded safely and that they're completely stubbed out.
"Thankfully this man's injuries weren't too serious but his home has been badly damaged and it could have been avoided.
"Thanks to a working smoke alarm, the man was able to get out of the flat otherwise firefighters could have been dealing with a far more devastating incident.
"I would strongly urge people to never smoke in bed or when feeling sleepy or drowsy.
"The safest way to avoid having a smoking-related fire in your home is to not smoke at all and GMFRS has information about local stop smoking services to support you if you want to kick the habit."
For more information on stopping smoking, go to /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_safety/smoking_safety/stop_smoking.aspx
For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of smoke alarms, visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx