Smoking to blame for 60 house fires a year in South Yorkshire

The scene of a fatal fire on Manor Park Road in Sheffield.
The scene of a fatal fire on Manor Park Road in Sheffield.

Smoking is the main cause of accidental house fires in South Yorkshire, new figures reveal.

In the first six months of the year firefighters dealt with 30 house fires cause by smoking.

There have been 380 since 2009.

Fire chiefs have analysed annual call-out statistics and discovered that while accidental house fires are reducing, those caused by smoking amount to around 60 per year.

Trevor Bernard, Head of Community Safety at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires, but nearly all of these can be avoided by following some simple rules.

“Never smoke in bed, never leave a lit cigarette unattended, always ensure that cigarettes are put out properly and keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.”

In March Alec Connington, aged 54, died after suffering severe burns in a fire caused by smoking.

When his body was found in his flat in Manor Park Road, Manor Park, Sheffield, in February there was a pile of at least 200 cigarette butts next to his bed, an inquest into his death heard.

In 2012, 83-year-old smoker Jean Dawson died when a cigarette she was smoking dropped onto a polyester blanket wrapped around her after she fell asleep in her daughter’s home in Neville Close, Pitsmoor, Sheffield.

Visit www.syfire.gov.uk for fire safety advice.