A WALLSEND couple are lucky to be alive after a fire broke out in their home.
And they said it was thanks to having a smoke alarm fitted and an escape plan that helped them get out safely.
Alfie Freeth, 69, and his wife Eileen, 65, of Somerset Gardens, were warned of a fire at their home on March 3, at 4.15 in the morning.
Alfie said: “Fortunately, I had woken up before the fire started and I was downstairs making a cup of tea when the alarm activated and I noticed smoke.
“Eileen came downstairs with our dog Kane and I went upstairs to see where the smoke was coming from.
“I opened the bedroom door and realised there was a fire in the corner of the room.
“We had an escape plan and knew we had to get out and call the fire and rescue service.
“I know that you should always shut doors on your way out but we forgot to shut the bedroom door which caused quite a bit of smoke damage upstairs.
“I am so pleased we have smoke alarms downstairs and up as we would have normally been asleep and they saved our lives.
“I must thank our neighbours Derek, Glenda and Jackie for helping us out when we had to leave our house in a hurry.”
District manager Dave Escott, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Smoke alarms were activated at this incident which highlights their life-saving value.
“There is no doubt having a working smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death giving vital minutes to get out.”