Fire in Cavity Wall
Two fire engines from Redditch fire station were at the address within minutes, and with the occupants of both of the properties involved safely evacuated, firefighters used a hose reel jet, bringing the fire under control in around an hour. Crews also used thermal imaging equipment to ensure the fire was fully extinguished and called back later in the morning to re-inspect the properties as a precautionary measure.
Watch Commander Stuart Crebbin said: "This was an unusual incident. Contractors had been working on the roof of a porch at the front of one of the properties during the day and while the householders had noticed a smell of burning, they had assumed it was from the work the builders were doing outside. Later in the evening, however, a bathroom at one the houses filled with smoke and they realised that there was actually a fire."
He explained that the origin of the fire was difficult to pinpoint and that firefighters had to remove the bath panel and chisel away a section of the concrete cladding on the wall before they were able to establish that the fire was in the expansion gap between the two properties.
The fibreboard in the cavity wall is believed to have been ignited inadvertently as the bitumen on the porch roof was heat-sealed earlier in the day.
Watch Commander Crebbin continued: "Thankfully no one was injured as a result of this incident and damage was limited to the fibreboard and the concrete cladding. It was certainly fortunate that the cavity between the two houses wasn't any deeper as the fire could easily have spread further. "
He advised anyone noticing smoke or smelling burning to call the fire service immediately, as any delay can be critical, and he also urged people to ensure they have smoke alarms fitted on every floor of their homes and to remember to test them on a weekly basis.