Fatal Flat Fire In Clacton "Tragic Accident"

29 January 2019, 14:17 | Updated: 29 January 2019, 14:21

Essex Fire Rescue

An investigation into the cause of a fire in Clacton in which a man died - has found it was a tragic accident.

Essex Fire Service say the area where the fire started had a portable halogen heater and an electrical extension lead.

Crews were called to Langham Drive yesterday morning after a neighbour smelt smoke and called 999.

A man found inside was pronounced dead at the scene.

The service has issued safety advice about portable heaters and fire investigator, Watch Manager Lee Hurst, has released the following atatement:

"Following the fire investigation we now know that the fire started in the lounge. The area first affected by the fire had a portable halogen heater and an electrical extension lead, and it is here where we think the fire started.

“This was a tragic accident and, over the coming days and weeks, we will be working hard to spread our safety messages and offer reassurance and advice to residents to try and make sure this doesn't happen again.

"If you use any type of portable heater in your home, please follow our advice to keep you and your family safe:

•    Never leave portable heaters unattended
•    Never leave them on whilst sleeping
•    Ensure that they are positioned well away from anything which could knock them over
•    Ensure they are at least a metre away from any combustible materials (paper/curtains)
•    Never buy second hand halogen heaters
•    Never power a halogen heater from an extension lead - these can easily be overloaded and cause fires
•    Regularly inspect your heater and extension lead for damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it.

“The best advice I can give is make sure that you have, and regularly test, a smoke alarm on every level of your home. It is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home. A smoke alarm provides vital warning that a fire has broken out waking sleeping people up and giving everyone time to get safely out."