This Is Lancashire has reported another Beko fridge fire that ended with a dramatic rooftop rescue by firefighters to save a family of eight from their burning house.
Neighbours called the fire brigade at 2.15am yesterday as smoke billowed out of the terraced house and across Daubhill near Bolton.
Six members of the family had climbed on to the roof to escape the blaze while two others screamed for help through a front bedroom window.
Last night, Ismail and Nurjaha Patel and their children, aged between eight and 19, were recovering from the ordeal and looking for somewhere to live. Neighbour Ozzie Amla said: “It was really bad, the women were screaming like they thought they were going to die but I couldn’t do anything. I felt helpless.
“There was so much smoke in the street, I couldn’t breathe properly. As soon as the firefighters smashed the window, all the smoke just came out. It was like a nightmare, like something you see in a film.”
Firefighters rescued the family using a ladder and all eight were taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital suffering smoke inhalation and minor injuries.
The blaze is believed to have been sparked by a faulty fridge-freezer — which was later stolen from outside the property, just hours after fire crews left the scene.
The damaged Beko fridge-freezer was stolen from outside the house between 11am and noon.
Loss assessor Rob Seabrook, of Affiniti Associates, said the appliance needed to be checked to discover whether it is linked to those models recently recalled by Beko.
In July, the London Fire Brigade warned that up to 500,000 fridge-freezers could pose serious fire risks across the country, see previous story from this link.
People who own models manufactured between January, 2000, and October, 2006, were advised to check whether their appliances were affected.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Seabrook said: “A recall was issued by Beko and the appliance is that make. Whether it is a model remains to be seen and that’s why we need it back. It doesn’t affect Mr Patel’s settlement but it will affect the claims process. We want to appeal to any scrap metal dealers to look out for a fridgefreezer of this description. Mr Patel is thankful that he and his family are still alive and he is taking great comfort in his religious beliefs.”
The fire caused £40,000 worth of damage and the family could be without a home for more than three months.
Firefighters said the house was not fitted with a smoke alarm which would have detected the fire earlier. Bolton’s fire chief Ian Bailey said all properties in Dijon Street were offered a free Home Fire Risk Assessment and smoke alarm last year. He said: “There’s no doubt that with a smoke alarm we wouldn’t have ended up in a situation where people have had to climb on to a roof and that’s a real concern.”