Freak fire at football director’s home in Southowram

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The football director has personally thanked firefighters who attended his Southowram home after a freak blaze broke out.

Following the incident on January 26, Sean Jarvis, commercial director at Huddersfield Town, is now helping West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) spread vital fire safety messages .

The freak fire at Sean‟‘s home started after hot water pipes from the central heating came into contact with a timber skateboard.

Sean‟s nine-year-old son, Josh, raised the alarm after smelling smoke and fortunately the family also had working smoke alarms.

In the wake of the incident, Sean has reflected on how lucky they were that no-one was injured and the fire was stopped in its tracks.

He said: “We have had a very, very lucky escape that the whole house did not go up.

“The firefighters did a first class job. They were very professional. They were great and took us through everything that had happened.

“I came into the office the next day and said to everyone „check your smoke alarms and if you don‟t have one then get one in quick‟.”

Yesterday (Tuesday) firefighters who put out the fire were reunited with Sean and Josh, who was being looked after by his gran when the blaze broke.

Because of their fast actions dialling 999, crews from Brighouse, Halifax and Elland were quick on the scene and were able to contain the fire to the hallway of the house.

Fire investigators have since concluded that the cause was an extremely rare occurrence when a combustible item (the timber skateboard) has been in contact with a low temperature over a very long period of time.

Fire Investigator Mark Whitaker said: “It‟s called pyrophoric action and is a rare thing, but it‟s not impossible. It can be best described as the ignition of wood by long-term exposure to low temperatures, especially if the temperature varies, for example, around heating pipes.