Smoke alarm saves Portsmouth house as potatoes boil dry

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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A smoke alarm saved a house from fire after a pan of boiling potatoes was left on the cooker and abandoned.

Southsea firefighters were alerted to the small fire in a house in Walmer Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, by a neighbour who heard the alarm.

They dealt with it within 20 minutes of the call at 5.55pm on Tuesday.

Southsea fire station crew manager Dave Higgins said: ‘A group of students left a pan of potatoes boiling on the stove and went out.

‘This is another example of how valuable smoke alarms are. If the neighbour hadn’t heard it we could have had a major fire on our hands.’