Father and daughter escape blazing home

PUBLISHED: 05:49 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 21:15 29 May 2010

The door to the room where the fire started - Pic: Suzy Whitaker

The door to the room where the fire started - Pic: Suzy Whitaker

A FATHER and daughter are lucky to be alive after a fire took hold in their dining room while they were asleep during the early hours of Sunday morning. The pair from Long Fields, Dunmow, were awoken at 3.30am by the sound of their smoke alarm. Jean Regi

Mr Register pictured with his late wife Stella at their 40th wedding anniversary

A FATHER and daughter are lucky to be alive after a fire took hold in their dining room while they were asleep during the early hours of Sunday morning.

The pair from Long Fields, Dunmow, were awoken at 3.30am by the sound of their smoke alarm. Jean Register, 55, said: "I phoned 999 and closed the dining room door to try and stop the fire spreading, before we ran to our next door neighbours for help.

"It all happened so quickly. It was the first time I've ever experienced a fire first hand."

Had it not have been for their smoke detector, George William Register, known to friends as Will, and his daughter would have been unaware of the fire while they both slept, said Essex County and Fire Service, acting divisional officer (ADO) Bill Yates.

"The man was suffering the effects of smoke inhalation and was left in the care of ambulance crews," he said.

"The household had a working smoke alarm fitted and this is what alerted him and his daughter to the fact that there was a fire in his living room. If it wasn't for the alarm this could have been a different story."

Mrs Register, who has worked at Old Ben, care home in Dunmow for six years said: "The smoke detector saved our lives. It must have been very sensitive too as it's in our hallway and it still managed to detect the fire that was in our living room. I'm so glad that we have always had it checked and always kept the batteries charged."

Mrs Register, who has lived with her father since her mother Stella died two years ago, wanted to thank people for their help. She said: "My friends, neighbours and colleagues have all been so kind and helpful, I really would like to thank them all."

It was not just family and friends Mrs Register wanted to thank, she was also overwhelmed by the response of the emergency services. "They all arrived to the scene within minutes," she said.

"I have every praise for them and was impressed at how quickly they all responded."

She added: "I want to advise others to learn from this lesson. I cannot tell people enough how important smoke detectors are. This has really brought it home how sensible firefighters' advice is. They really do save lives."

The Registers are still unable to enter their dining room and are waiting to assess the damage caused. However, it is not yet known what caused the blaze and this is being investigated by the fire service. Furniture and precious photographs were among items that have been ruined.

Mr Register was taken to Colchester General hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and shock. At the time of going to print he was still receiving medical care.

"This is another incident, which proves that smoke alarms save lives and it is extremely vital that they are fitted in every home," said ADO Bill Yates.

"Home fire safety visits are available where our crews will come around and fit the alarms and give potentially life saving advice on how to prevent fires and what to do in the event of a fire in your own home.

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