A DOWNTON couple and their three dogs had a lucky escape after a kitchen fire in their home.

Bryn Parry, who founded Help for Heroes with his wife Emma, says he was asleep when he heard the fire alarm going off in the kitchen during the early hours of Saturday at their Wick Lane home.

He woke his wife and could smell smoke. He made his way to the kitchen, where their dogs, Pepper, Jaffa and Pippin, were sleeping.

Mr Parry describes the kitchen being full of smoke and says it could have ended in tragedy had they not been woken by their fire alarm.

“It was really scary. If the alarm hadn’t gone off the dogs wouldn’t have survived, the room was completely full of smoke,” he said.

“I didn’t know what was happening as I walked down the passageway it was completely full of smoke.”

Since the fire he says he will be putting fire alarm sensors near the bedroom as well as getting a fire door and a fire blanket.

“The important thing is to have sensors around the house and that the noise of them sounds wherever you are,” he added.

“We were very lucky because we had the alarm and have it regularly serviced,” he said.

Mr Parry says he is relieved there was no drama or tragedy in this case and lots of lessons have been learned from the experience.

Mr Parry praised the “brilliant” firefighters who attended the incident. The crew from Fordingbridge were at the scene in just 12 minutes. A crew from Salisbury also attended the incident. 

It is believed the fire was caused by a melted candle near the aga cooker.

Pepper, Jaffa and Pippin are all fine after the incident.

Fordingbridge station manager Pete White said: “The simple fact is fire alarms save lives.

“Firefighters see countless cases where these devices have alerted people and their families to a fire before it has spread and allowed them to leave safely.

“Sadly we also attend calls where no smoke alarms have been installed and we see the devastating consequences of this.

“As well as saving lives they enable you to call us as soon as possible so we have more chance of saving your property – minutes matter.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service says homes should have a smoke detector in the hallway at least 30cm from a light fitting or wall.

An alarm should also be installed on each level of your home and tested regularly.