FIREFIGHTERS have described the survival of a family of three from a flat fire in Peebles this morning as a “very lucky escape”.
The three occupants - a 42-year-old man, 41-year-old woman and a three-year-old girl - managed to get out of the ground floor property on Elcho Street before firefighters arrived at 3.11am.
The family were all given oxygen after suffering from smoke inhalation and were taken to Borders General Hospital for a check up.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze using two high-pressure hose reels.
The fire extensively damaged the flat and the smoke affected surrounding properties. Five residents from neighbouring properties had to be evacuated.
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “Early indications suggest the fire broke out as a result of a candle left burning in the property.
“This is something that we have seen before and we cannot stress enough if you use candles that you must make sure they are fully extinguished before going to bed.
“There was no smoke detection in the flat either and so it is fair to say the family had a very lucky escape.
“The family were alerted to emergency by the sounds of the fire crackling and banging. When fire breaks out, particularly in the early hours of the morning, it can be very disorientating and the risks of being overcome by smoke are significant.
“We believe every home should have a working smoke detector. It provides vital early warning if fire does break out, allowing you to escape from the fire safely and call us out.
“We are very relieved that the family in question managed to do this although they did suffer smoke inhalation.
“We wish them a speedy recovery and would take this opportunity to remind people of the need for vigilance when it comes to fire safety.”
“Get into the habit of making checks in your home before you go to bed or leave your home for the day. In addition, make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your house.
“It really could save your life one day.”
To arrange a free home safety visit and fitting of smoke detectors as required by calling 0800 169 0320.