Fire doors saved bed-bound patients at borough care home

Firefighters were quick to the scene
Firefighters were quick to the scene
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Elderly patients at a borough care home were evacuated last night after a fire broke out in a resident’s bedroom.


Atherton firefighters were called at around 8.15pm on Tuesday to Bedford Care Home in Leigh after “smoking material” caused a mattress fire.

Several infirm residents at the Battersby Street care home remained in their beds until firefighters arrived and saw that the fire doors had kept the smoke from spreading.

Four engines were called out as soon as there were “persons reported” in the building.

“When we arrived the staff had mostly evacuated the building,” said crew manager Phil Dearden. “It was a top priority job for us because people were stuck in the building.

“There were bed-bound residents on the same corridor as the fire which made it even more of a priority.

“There were four other rooms. Luckily the way each room is built - the fire doors had kept the fire and smoke from the other flats.”

Ambulance and police were in attendance but fortunately no one was injured.

On arrival, firefighters checked the bed-bound patients were safe and would continue to be so while they moved to extinguish the flames.

“We couldn’t get the fire engines close enough to the building to use the hose reels,” said crew manager Dearden.

“They had their own extinguishing materials which we used as well as some of our own.”

Guests were ushered into a safe communal area which had been checked by the crews so that they did not have to stay outside in the cold.

A subsequent investigation into the cause of the fire, which was contained mainly to a mattress in a single bedroom, determined that the most likely cause was “smoking materials” which had been snuck into the non-smoking facility,