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By Nigel Slater Monday 14 January 2013 Updated: 21/01 16:56
ITEMS left on a night storage heater are thought to have started a blaze in an Evesham charity shop over the weekend.
Firefighters were called to the Vale Wildlife Rescue charity shop in Vine Street about 4.30am on Saturday morning (January 12) after police officers on patrol noticed there was a fire inside.
A wall in the shop was damaged by fire and there was smoke damage throughout the ground floor. There was also slight smoke damage to the flat above.
Two residents living in a flat above the shop were evacuated as a precautionary measure before the firefighters extinguished the fire using a hose reel jet.
Station Commander Phil Griffiths from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: "It would seem that items left on top of a night storage heater at the shop caught fire when the heater came on during the early hours of the morning.
"Thankfully smoke detectors in the premises activated and passing police patrols heard the alarm and could see the smoke and called the fire service. Our fire crews were quickly at the scene and extinguished the fire within minutes.
"This incident certainly had the potential to be more serious than it was as there were other night storage heaters in the shop with rails of clothing placed near them. If these had caught alight a fire could have taken hold very rapidly."
Following the incident, station commander Griffiths issued out a safety warning for people using night storage heaters.
"Night storage heaters are designed to come on at night but of course this is often when a room or a building is unoccupied," he added.
"To avoid the risk of a fire, be sure to keep combustible materials well away from your heaters and ensure the area nearby is free from clutter.
"Also ensure smoke alarms are in working order as an early alert can help avoid injury and minimise damage in the event of a fire."
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