A FAMILY who were forced to flee after a fire broke out in their home have called for people to check their smoke alarms.
Michael Edwards and his family were awoken by their smoke alarms early this morning after candles which had been left alight started a fire in their living room in Park Gate.
Michael said: ‘I was so scared for my family and we have lost our lounge and all of our stairs.
‘If it weren’t for the smoke alarms I dread to think.
‘They are lifesavers.’
Firefighters from Fareham fire station were called to Mayridge in Park Gate just after midnight.
Father-of-one Michael helped his partner and daughter to get out of the house.
He said: ‘My instinct was to get out and if we had waited longer, we would not have been able to get out.
‘When we got to the bottom of the stairs the flames were at our feet.’
The family have been given temporary accommodation with the help of the Red Cross.
Michael added: ‘Smoke alarms will save your family. Make sure you check the batteries because it could save your life.’
Fareham crew manager Richard Cole said the family were very lucky as the candles had started the fire next to the stairs in the living room, and they might have struggled to escape the house if the smoke alarm had not gone off.
He added the living room was ‘100 per cent destroyed’ by the fire with smoke damage across the house.
Mr Cole said: ‘Our advice is to never leave candles unattended.’