Droitwich homes evacuated
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (H&WFRS) was alerted to the incident at around 1.10am and two fire engines from Droitwich attended. Firefighters in breathing apparatus brought the fire under control by 1.40am, with cutting away and damping down continuing after this. Positive pressure ventilation equipment was also used to help clear the smoke from the two houses.
While there were no injuries reported, two children and five adults who had been evacuated from their homes during the fire were checked by ambulance staff at the scene as a precautionary measure. A fence panel, plus window frames, fascia boards and guttering on the two houses were damaged during the incident.
Crew Commander Chris Jelfs from H&WFRS said: "Fortunately the occupant of one of the houses involved was still awake and noticed the smoke before the fire spread any further."
He confirmed that initial investigations suggest that the fire started after a cigarette end was discarded in a plastic container in the garden. This caught alight then spread to the fence panel and then to the back of the two houses.
He added: "This incident highlights two important fire safety messages. Firstly, smokers are reminded to ensure that their cigarettes are fully extinguished and that they take care where they dispose of cigarette ends.
"Secondly, the incident underlines how important it is to have a smoke alarm fitted in the home and that it is tested on a regular basis."
Fire crews ensured both properties had working smoke alarms installed before they left the scene of the incident.