Alarm saves OAP from burning bed

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A PENSIONER had a lucky escape when an overheated wheat bag set her bed on fire as she dropped off to sleep.

The incident at the house in Conisbrough, near Doncaster, has prompted fire chiefs to issue a warning about people using wheat bag alternatives to hot water bottles.

The bags full of buckwheat are meant to be heated in a microwave oven for a short time before they are used to provide pain relief or warm a bed.

It is not clear what caused the 90-year-old woman’s wheat bag to start smouldering in bed just after 11.30pm on Wednesday.

But an automatic fire alarm connected from her home in Scott Avenue to an emergency call centre sent fire crews from Edlington and Doncaster.

They found the woman had already managed to take the heated bag from her bedroom to the bathroom to put water on it before she made her way downstairs to the front door.

She was treated for smoke inhalation by ambulance crews but did not need hospital treatment.

Firefighters found smoke pouring from the bedroom window and the house smoke- logged, but the fire was out, with bedding scorch-marked.

A fire service spokesman said the woman told the crews that she would not have woken up if it had not been for the smoke alarm.

Tests carried out by experts on wheat bag pads show they will catch fire if they are heated up for too long but it can take several hours after people have gone to bed.