Fire safety campaign follows Toxteth death

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Whittier Street © Google Maps

Whittier Street © Google Maps

A fire safety campaign has taken place in Toxteth to raise awareness of house fires, following a tragic death.

An 87-year-old man died in a blaze in his home on Whittaker Street on February 25, leading safety campaigners to introduce the scheme.

Approximately 300 properties were targeted in the campaign with more than 40 prevention staff and fire-fighters taking part. So far 45 home fire safety checks have been carried out.

Mike Buratti, District Prevention Manager for Liverpool South, said: “Residents in the Toxteth area were visited by fire and rescue service personnel and partner agencies and given important fire safety advice to assist in preventing such a fire occurring again.

“We would advise members of the public to take care when smoking. People should ensure smoking materials are completely extinguished in a suitable ashtray and are never left unattended.

“We are also urging people never to leave food unattended in the kitchen, even if it is just for a moment. Fires involving food can spread quickly and produce a lot of smoke. We would also advise people to check on their elderly and vulnerable neighbours or family members to ensure they have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of their property.”

Despite emergency services’ best efforts not all fires can be prevented. Accidents do happen but fire services in Merseyside are working to reduce such incidents.

Station Manager Paul Kay said: “Reassurance and fire safety campaigns are an important way of our fire-fighters and fire prevention staff highlighting important fire safety messages. In the call-out on February 25, the fire at the property had extinguished itself before fire-fighters were called.

“Sadly, the body of an 87-year-old man was found at the scene.

“An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing. Initially the suspected cause was accidental due to a cigarette. After further investigation it is suspected that the cause of the fire was accidental but that food cooking on a hob may have also been involved in the fire.”

Anyone wishing to seek advice or reassurance, or anyone wishing to receive a free fire safety check can call 0800 731 5958 or visit for more information.

About Alice Kershaw, JMU Journalism