Firefighters issue strong advice after tragedies

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Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to act on the plea issued by its colleagues in Lancashire following five tragic deaths in two fires.

On Saturday, a fire at a house in Freckleton took the lives of Reece Smith, 19, four-year-old twins Holly and Ella Smith and two-year-old Jordan Smith. All four died from smoke inhalation. On Wednesday, a man died at a fire in a flat in Walmer Bridge, Preston.

In a statement released this week, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service said: “Foremost in our minds is the sympathy we feel for the families and friends at this sad time.

“It gives us greater determination to continue our work to spread the fire safety message about the things people can do to stay safe from fire and the support that we can offer.

“Particularly we would urge people to get a smoke alarm. Testing the alarm regularly is extremely important, as is looking after it by giving it a clean every now and then and never, ever removing it from its position or taking out batteries.”

Chris Bailey, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “The shockwaves from these tragedies have spread nationally. As well as sending our own condolences, we would like to support this message from the local fire service.

“We also urge residents in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to show their support by acting on the advice about smoke alarms and testing them once a week.”

If you would like Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service to carry out a free safety check in your home, fitting free smoke alarms where they are needed, ring 01296 744477 or send an email to

Investigations are currently taking place into both Lancashire fires.