Family left homeless after blaze rips through Harlow property

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Firefighters have issued a safety warning after an extension lead left plugged in overnight caused a house fire.

Crews were called to a fire in a terraced house in Keaton Way, Harlow, today at 2.06am.

Thankfully, the house had two working smoke alarms which alerted the family of four who got to safety.

Firefighters extinguished the fire by 2.38am but the family have been left homeless due to fire damage to the ground floor and smoke damage throughout the house.

Watch Manager Gavin Ellis said: “This incident goes to show yet again just how important smoke alarms are – and why we want every home in Essex to be fitted with them.

“While this house has sadly been badly damaged, the family were able to get out safely after being alerted to the fire.

“The smoke alarms have made a huge difference in ensuring this incident wasn’t much more serious for those involved.”

The fire started after a reel-style extension lead was left plugged in overnight.

Watch Manager Ellis said “The extension lead was still in its drum and had been left plugged in. It overheated and set fire to an armchair. 

“Please double-check that you have turned off or unplugged electrical appliances when they are not in use – especially if you’re going to bed.

“You’d be surprised how quickly and easily they can ignite and become serious fires.”