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26 April 2010, 12:51
A single mum has been telling Heart how a fire destroyed her Bournemouth home at the weekend, after she took down the smoke alarm.
Pamela Adams and her 13-year-old son Alfie Adams-House had an extremely lucky escape when the fire broke out at the property on Rebbeck Road on Saturday morning.
Pamela explained: "I am in complete shock, I just can't believe it. The smoke alarms had been fitted by the fire service five years' ago but started beeping last week so I took then down as they were driving me mad.
"The ironic thing is that on my list of things to do that day was to go to B&Q and buy a replacement smoke alarm. I had no idea that you could call the fire service and they would come and replace them free of charge. We have lost everything, all of my son's things since he was a baby have gone - everything. We don't have house insurance either so that really was everything. Friends and neighbours have been brilliant and we have about four bags of clothes now since everything that we owned was in our home.
"If our fire sends a message to others that you must always have a working smoke alarm and that the fire service will come and fit smoke alarms for you when they beep to say the battery is low, then I'm only too happy to do so."
Incident Commander, Richard Coleman said: "This was a very ferocious fire and unfortunately the lady had taken the existing smoke alarms down only last week. The fire started in Alfie's bedroom but due to the ferocity of it, and subsequent damage, it is unlikely that we will ever find the true cause."
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service has fitted alarms in the road at the same time as Pamela's was fitted. They are now conducting house to house fire safety checks to ensure that any others that are emitting low battery warnings are replaced.
If you would like to receive a home fire safety check, please contact DFRS during office hours on 01305 252600 so that we can arrange one for you for free.