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SIDMOUTH: Fire service launch safety campaign after ‘tragic death’

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Sidmouth man who died in a house fire last week, and the county’s fire and rescue service has launched a campaign to remind residents of the importance of keeping their homes safe. Marcus Dack, 42, was killed in the blaze at Howarth Close early in the morning on Sunday, June 14th, and fire crews from across East Devon were called to attend the emergency. A former Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue employee, Mr Dack, worked in the IT department at the service headquarters in Exeter and, following the tragic incident, the service has renewed safety warnings to Sidmouth residents. Group manager Jon Miller said: “Marcus’s death has filled us with great sadness and we are all thinking of his family and friends at this terrible time. He was a popular member of our team and a friend to many of us. “Following this tragic incident, the service wanted to do something for the community and firefighters were in Sidmouth over the weekend to help spread the message. “People will naturally be concerned about their own resilience against fire. We will be looking to provide safety advice and reassurance wherever we can.” Fire teams knocked on doors in the Sidmouth area and invited residents to come and speak to firefighters about any concerns they had. The service will be following up the campaign by providing general fire safety advice in Sidmouth, such as advising residents to ensure they have a fire escape plan should a fire occur and working smoke alarms on every floor of their home. Mr Miller added: “All members of your family, guests and loved ones should know how to get out, stay out, and call 999 in the event of a fire. “A smoke alarm can give people the warning they need to get out of their home in a fire but that is only part of the problem. “Thinking about a plan for you and your families escape is equally if not more important. “A blocked exit, a locked door or unfamiliar surroundings can often shave vital seconds from your escape time.” “Every second counts when escaping a fire and a working smoke alarm and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference.” The cause of the fire will be determined by the coroner and a report will be submitted following a joint investigation by the police and fire officers.

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