An elderly man had a lucky escape from a fire caused by a cigarette in his flat thanks to a sprinkler system.

Sutton firefighters were called to a fire at the residential care home in Mickleham Gardens in Cheam on Saturday night. Luckily the man had already escaped the flat and his sprinkler system had put out most of the flames.

He was treated for shock on the scene and taken to hospital as a precaution. Sutton fire station manager Richard Field said: “This close call shows just how vital sprinklers are in care homes and sheltered accommodation – they not only stop fires from spreading, they save lives.

“People living in sheltered accommodation and extra care facilities are often very vulnerable to fire. “They may have limited mobility or a disability which makes it difficult for them to notice a fire and react quickly. “If it wasn’t for the flat’s sprinkler system this fire could have had a very different outcome. “It appears the careless disposal of cigarettes was the cause of the fire.

“It’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire that could destroy not only your home, but also your life. “It is extremely fortunate that no-one was injured in this fire.” Fire engines from Sutton and New Malden fire stations attended the incident. Share article The brigade was called at 11:12pm and the fire was over at 11:47pm. For more information on sprinklers visit: http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/sprinklers.asp

Source: Sprinkler system saves elderly man’s life in Cheam flat fire (From Sutton Guardian)