Local fire officers have renewed warnings about the importance of properly-installed and fully-working smoke alarms, after two people narrowly escaped injury in a serious house fire last night (Sunday August 4th).

Four fire appliances with over 20 retained firefighters from Stornoway, Shawbost and Ness were called to the Hebridean Housing Partnership property at Hillhead in Tong at 11.45pm last night. Two elderly people inside the house had been evacuated after the smoke alarm gave warning of the fire, which had started in the kitchen. Both were uninjured.

Fire Scotland’s Stornoway station manager Craig Lauder told welovestornoway.com: “The house was well alight and the blaze had spread to the roof space, with extensive damage to the property, which is now uninhabitable.

“It was the smoke detector which raised the alarm, and this emphasises once more the importance of having a working smoke alarm. Were it not for that, the consequences of this fire could have been very different.”

Firefighters remained on scene until 3am today and the inhabitants have been relocated to a neighbour’s address, pending permanent re-housing. Officers have since returned to Tong and have been visiting neighbouring addresses, offering fire safety advice.

Craig Lauder said: “Fire services today carried out a full post-domestic incident response, which included offering free fire safety advice to all nearby residents. Anyone who wants a free fire safety check, including free installation of smoke alarms if they are not already fitted, can use the freephone number 0800 0731 999, text FIRE to 80800, visit www.firescotland.gov.uk or contact the local fire station on 01851 705051.”