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Elderly couple in flat fire at Derby Road were saved by smoke alarm
AN elderly couple had a lucky escape when a fire broke out in their Bournemouth flat yesterday morning.
Maurice and Doreen Smithers were woken by the smoke alarm in the early hours and when Mrs Smithers went to check she found the airing cupboard ablaze, with smoke pouring into the hallway of their East Cliff flat.
Keeping calm, she called the fire brigade and the pair quickly closed all the doors and went downstairs to wait.
“We have been living here happily for 26 years and have never had anything like this happen before,” said Mrs Smithers, 80.
“Thank God we had the smoke alarm or it could have been much worse.”
Three fire engines from Springbourne, Westbourne and Christchurch attended at 3.40am, and firefighters put hoses through the window of the first floor flat, in Derby Road, to extinguish the flames.
Mr and Mrs Smithers, who celebrate their 61st anniversary next week, were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.
They returned later that morning to find their possessions blackened and the airing cupboard burned out.
Mrs Smithers said they were lucky the fire hadn’t spread into the sitting room, where they keep family photos and dance trophies won by their daughter Carole, who died of cancer three years ago.
Dorset Fire and Rescue investigators told the couple the fire was probably caused by a wiring fault.
Mr Smithers, 87, a Second World War veteran, praised the fire service.
“I was surprised how many firefighters were there, the engines were lined up all down the road.”