Smoke alarm warning after death

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Fire chiefs are urging householders to ensure they have a working fire alarm following a fatal fire in Whitecross last week.

Allan Johnston (49), originally from Bo’ness, was killed after a blaze broke out in his ground floor flat at Avontoun Crescent around 9.20am last Thursday.

Around 17 firefighters from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) attended the incident. Four entered the smoke-filled property and put the fire out quickly, but when they found Mr Johnston who was sitting in an armchair, he had died of smoke inhalation.

Group manager Martyn Brandrick said the flat did not have a working smoke alarm which could have saved Mr Johnston’s life.

He said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind home owners of the importance of a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are vital for ensuring people get a very early warning when fire breaks out.

“A smoke alarm gives you precious life-saving minutes to put your fire plan into operation and get you and your family to safety.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but police have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

Mr Johnston, who was known to friends as ‘Feb’, has a son and daughter, Mark and Nicola, and the family asked for privacy at this time. Mr Johnston’s funeral is being held at Thomas Cuthell and Sons in Bo’ness on Tuesday, May 14, at 10am before a burial at Carriden Cemetery.