Firefighters “quickly and efficiently” tackled a blaze in a one-bedroom Appleby flat in the early hours of this morning.
The alert was sounded shortly after 1.30am that a fire had broken out in a first floor flat at Mews Cottages, The Sands.
Neil Aitken, Appleby fire station watch manager, said on arrival they found an upstairs flat “heavily smoke logged” and firefighters were unsure at the time if there were any people inside.
Thankfully, the property was found to be empty, because there had been a report that it had been occupied the previous evening.
Mr Aitken said a sofa in the flat had caught fire and it looked like it had been burning for quite a long time.
Appleby firefighters were joined by crews from Kirkby Stephen and Penrith — making a team of about 18 personnel — and the blaze, which had forced the glass out of an upstairs window, was brought under control with two hose reel jets.
Breathing apparatus was worn, and a thermal imaging camera was used, as part of the one hour and forty-seven minute operation.
Mr Aitken said there had been a working smoke alarm in the flat which alerted a next door neighbour to ring the fire service.
“Smoke alarms save lives,” said Mr Aitken, who added that the fire could have escalated a lot worse if it had been allowed to burn any longer.
He added that there was a bit of fire and smoke damage, but the property had been saved with the blaze having been dealt with really efficiently and very quickly.