A WINCHESTER man has extolled the importance of smoke alarms after he was saved from his rooftop when his house caught fire.
Phil Bradley, 43, was rescued from the roof of his home, at Waterworks Road in Otterbourne, after a fire began in his kitchen.
It is thought the fire began because of Mr Bradley’s toaster.
Luckily neighbours heard his shouts for help and called the emergency services on Wednesday.
Though Mr Bradley was not injured he was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and later taken to Southampton General Hospital.
“How I got out I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a very strange feeling to be standing in your house not knowing where you are. I don’t know if it was because of the smoke but I just remember getting down and crawling around and, before I knew it, I’d crawled to the top and got out of the window.”
Mr Bradley works as a property refurbisher and says, because of all the work he does fitting smoke alarms, he was reasonably prepared.
Ironically, the night before the blaze, he had been looking through fire alarm safety charts.
He lives with his wife and two children who were holidaying in Cornwall when the fire broke out. The children’s pet hamsters were also saved.
“I always say to everyone ‘make sure you’ve got batteries in your smoke alarm’,” he added. “You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve been to people’s houses and the batteries have just been taken out. I make a point of carrying them on me so I put them in whenever I see that.”
Around 25 fire fighters from Eastleigh and Winchester tackled the fire using four pumps.
Watch Manager Ben Allen, the officer in charge of the incident, said: “This man had a lucky escape. Cooking had been left unattended in the kitchen which then caught fire. Thankfully, he was alerted to the fire by a working smoke detector and was able to call for help.
“We hope this incident acts as a reminder to members of the public that working smoke alarms really do save lives, and give you early warning to get help and call us out. We would also like to ask people to be extra careful when cooking and to never leave it unattended.”
A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 11.36pm to reports of a house fire. We sent a hazardous area response team, one ambulance officer and crew. They assessed a gentleman who is believed to have had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital.”