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Lucky escape for 84-year-old man in Rocester house blaze

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AN 84-YEAR-OLD man had a lucky escape, when excess cooking fat led to a kitchen fire at his home in Rocester.

Charles Beardmore, of Northfield Avenue, told the Advertiser he left his cooking on and had used too much fat in the pan which led to the blaze.

Mr Beardmore regularly experiences dizzy spells as he suffers from myasthenia gravis, a rare long-term health condition that causes muscles to become weak.

He said: “I was feeling dizzy and had lost my balance so had to sit down for a minute.

“I left the pan on while I took a rest.

“I came back into the room after having to sit down and it had gone up in flames.

“Thankfully it just got the cooker, the units weren’t affected.

“The fire crews have removed the oven for me.

“I wasn’t scared, I turned the power off immediately and left the house as soon as I saw what had happened.

“I hit that switch and got out.

“I often need to sit down as I become tired easily which is why I had left the cooking unattended. Normally I can cook well.”

A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to a fire at Northfield Avenue in Rocester at 12.23pm on Monday.

“The fire was caused by cooking which had been left unattended.

“The smoke alarm raised the alarm and the occupant of the property got out safely with help from his daughter who lives in the house next door.

“Crews from Cheadle and Hanley attended the scene, and put the fire out with specialist equipment.”

Myasthenia gravis is a rare long-term condition that causes certain muscles to become weak.

It mainly affects muscles that are controlled voluntarily – often those controlling eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, swallowing and talking.

Sometimes, the muscles that control breathing, neck and limb movements are also affected.

The muscle weakness associated with myasthenia gravis is usually worse during physical activity and improves with rest.

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