Man forced to flee house after wheelie bin fire caused by ‘smouldering towel’ spreads to conservatory

PUBLISHED: 08:19 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 08:19 09 September 2014

Firefighters at the scene of the blaze, in Ely.

Firefighters at the scene of the blaze, in Ely.


A man was treated for smoke inhalation after wheelie bin caught fire and spread to a house in Ely today (Monday).

Firefighters from Ely and Littleport were called to The Turnpike at about 8am following reports that a conservatory was on fire.

Crews battled the blaze for more than three hours before using pressure ventilation fans to clear the rest of the house of smoke.

Firefighters continued to dampen down the area and cut away to ensure the fire was extinguished.

A man, who was out of the house when fire crews arrived, was treated at the scene by paramedics after suffering smoke inhalation.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service station commander, Bruce Parcell said: “The fire started when a smouldering towel was put in a wheelie bin, adjacent to the property.

“The fire then started in the bin and spread to cause serious damage to the extension conservatory.

“Luckily, the resident got out of the property and called the fire service and crews were able to stop it spreading into the main house, however, this the property has been seriously smoke damaged.

“If residents think something has been on fire or smouldering then our advice is to not put it in a wheelie bin. Instead, move it to an area where water can be put on it, like in a garden or sink, and if it is safe to do so, ensure it is thoroughly extinguished before disposing of it.

“This incident also highlights why it is important to store wheelie bins well away from your property and where possible to locate them away from gas and electricity intakes as in this instance, these were both affected by the fire.”

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