Electric blankets warning after house blaze

The fire in Maisemore Gardens Emsworth. Picture: Brian Hammond
The fire in Maisemore Gardens Emsworth. Picture: Brian Hammond

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A PENSIONER is in hospital recovering from burns after it is thought his electric blanket caught fire.

Mick Jennings, 82, was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital following the drama on Saturday evening.

Widower Mr Jennings, is believed to have raised the alarm at 7.35pm on Saturday, when the fire began in an upstairs bedroom.

Shocked neighbours have told how they saw smoke and flames billowing up from the back of the mid-terrace home in Maisemore Gardens in Emsworth.

Barbara Hammond lives across the road and she said: ‘The first we knew was when the fire engines turned up and that was what alerted most people that something was wrong. But when we went outside you could see all these flames.

‘It was impressive and exciting, but not in a good way. We were all holding our breath and hoping that Mick would be all right and that the fire wouldn’t spread into the neighbouring buildings.

‘I heard he had been trying to put the fire out himself. I just hope he comes home safe and well.’

Fire crews from Havant, Emsworth, Waterlooville and Cosham as well as Southsea’s aerial platform ladder and Eastleigh’s multi-role vehicle, attended.

Crew manager Jim Tickner from Havant said: ‘The fire investigators are doing their stuff to identify the cause.

‘It is possible that it was from an electric blanket but that’s just from what the homeowner told us.

‘The upstairs has been quite severely damaged by fire and smoke.

‘We were concerned about it spreading to the other homes, but luckily there isn’t a roof void because they have flat roofs. The homeowner told us he didn’t want an ambulance and that he was fine – but he obviously had some burns and his hair was singed.’

He was also treated for smoke inhalation.

Mr Tickner added: ‘We would advise anyone with electric blankets to have them checked on an annual basis.’