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Man 'lucky to escape' from cigarette fire.

FIREFIGHTERS say a man came within minutes of losing his life yesterday when a discarded cigarette sparked a toxic blaze in his home.

The man was fast asleep when a smouldering cigarette butt set fire to a rubbish bin in his bathroom.

Thick black poisonous smoke quickly spread through the house as the fire began to melt the plastic bath and shower unit.

Only the sound of the shower curtain falling into the bath woke the man as there were no working smoke alarms in the house.

The drama unfolded just before 10am in Lawford Road, Rugby.

Neil Webb, of Rugby fire station, said: "The smoke level when we arrived was on the floor. The plastic bath and electric shower were on fire and the paint was peeling off the door.

"They were very toxic fumes - a few more minutes and he would have been dead. He was very lucky to have been woken up by the sound of the shower curtain falling into the bath."

A paramedic gave the man treatment at the scene for the effects of smoke inhalation.

Mr Webb said there was no smoke alarm on the first floor and the battery had been taken out of the alarm downstairs. He also urged smokers to ensure cigarettes were properly stubbed-out in an ashtray and not thrown into a bin with combustible material.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 29, 2005
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