A WORKING smoke alarm led to the safe rescue of a woman and her cat from a blaze at a house in Bear Hill, Alvechurch.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) received a call just before 3.20am on Wednesday, January 9, after the female resident was woken by her smoke alarm, and two fire engines from Redditch fire station arrived quickly. Faced with a fire in an upstairs bathroom and the roof space of the listed cottage, further pumps from Redditch and Bromsgrove were called .

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets and one covering jet to extinguish the blaze and used thermal imaging equipment to check the fire was fully out.

The woman from the house was treated at the scene by paramedics and firefighters rescued her cat using a ladder at a first floor window.

Watch Commander Jon Laight said: “The fire broke out in the bathroom of a two-storey terraced cottage in a row of listed buildings. It had already spread into the roof space and there was a real risk of it spreading horizontally into adjoining properties, but thanks to the actions of the first crews at the scene, this was avoided. The four crews acted quickly and professionally to bring the fire under control and limit the damage to all three houses.

“Without a doubt, the working smoke alarm fitted in this property played a key role. The early warning it gave provided the woman time to get out safely and call the fire service and we were then able to save her house and those of her neighbours, all three of them listed properties.

“The incident illustrates just why we remind people to check smoke alarms on a regular basis. Working smoke alarms can and do save lives.”

Crews remained at the scene for several hours, cutting away to ensure there was no further fire spread and assisting with salvage work.