Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) crews rescued a bat following a house fire in Sandhurst over the Christmas period.
At 8.02pm on Saturday, 22 December, Thames Valley Fire Control Service received reports of a fire on Ambarrow Lane, Sandhurst. Crews from Bracknell, Wokingham and Crowthorne immediately rushed to the scene to tackle the blaze. They found a fire of 15m x 15m in the first floor bedroom, later found to have been caused by an unattended candle.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to put out the fire, ventilating the area after as the bedroom was badly damaged and the top floor full of smoke. During a post-fire inspection, firefighters made an unexpected friend.
A long-eared bat was found hiding in the attic of the house and, not wanting to leave it to die in the smoky atmosphere, firefighters decided to carry it to safety. The bat was taken outside and safely released into a bat box in a tree in the garden.
Robert Taff, a firefighter at the scene, said: “This was a really interesting rescue for us as we weren’t expecting to find a bat during our inspection. With bats being a protected species, we would normally do everything we could to avoid disturbing them, but in this case the risk from smoke inhalation left us no option but to help it to safety.
“In order to help us prevent accidents like this, we’d like to remind the public to be careful when lighting candles. Make sure that they’re never left unattended and that they’re placed away from flammable objects so that you don’t increase your risk of a fire.”
For more information on how to keep your home safe, please visit: rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/safety-at-home.