Warning over smoke alarms after pensioners die in house fires despite valiant attempts at rescues

A PENSIONER has died after being found in his smoke-filled kitchen on Christmas Day.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said the 79-year-old victim was pronounced dead at his home in Eckington, near Sheffield, despite efforts to save him by his son-in-law and a neighbour.

The fatality occurred just a day after a 65-year-old woman died in a fire at a mid-terrace property in nearby Whaley Thorns.

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That blaze left several other people suffering from smoke inhalation.

Fire service group manager Bob Curry confirmed that crews from Staveley and Mosborough attended the fire at an address in Castle Hill shortly after 9pm on Christmas Day.

Mr Curry said initial investigations had shown that there were no working smoke alarms fitted in the properties where the tragedies occurred.

He added: “The tragedy of this second fatality is that while there were smoke alarms fitted in this property, the batteries were not fitted properly.

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“While a working smoke alarm gives essential early warning of a fire, having a sprinkler system installed will actually fight the fire and will help to reduce the spread.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police, which is not treating the death as suspicious, said a neighbour and the victim’s son-in-law dragged him out of the property and had attempted to resuscitate him in the garden before paramedics also tried to save him.