Mother warns of electric blanket danger after fire

The scene of the fire at Cobden Crescent
The scene of the fire at Cobden Crescent
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A mother has warned of the dangers of faulty electric blankets after her baby boy was almost killed in a fire.

Five-month-old Jack Fulford had a lucky escape after a blanket caused his parents’ bed to catch alight.

He had been sleeping in a cot next to the bed at the property in Cobden Crescent, Newington, when the blaze began on Wednesday night.

Mother Harriet Fulford was alerted to the fire by a baby monitor when Jack began to cry and immediately called the emergency services.

Fire crews arrived at the house just after midnight and evacuated Harriet, Jack and her two-year-old daughter.

Jack was taken to the Sick Kids Hospital for precautionary checks and is now recovering at home.

The scorched remains of the blanket and mattresses were lying in the front garden of the house yesterday morning.

Mrs Fulford said: “It could have been so different – we were very lucky. I lifted up the electric blanket and the whole mattress was smouldering. The firefighters and the hospital staff have been fantastic. I can’t thank them enough.

“I want to warn others to get their old electric blankets replaced or at least checked. Jack is fine, I took him to hospital and everyone is all right, but I am a little freaked out.”

Jack’s grandmother, Georgina Clayton, said Mrs Fulford had been horrified when she saw all the smoke.

She said: “Jack was in hospital for an hour and a half. They were just checking his oxygen levels as a precaution. He is fine. He was probably the least affected out of all of us.”

She added: “The one thing that comes out of it is anyone who has an old electric blanket should think about getting rid of it ASAP.”

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said: “Crews were called at around 12.20am today to a fire in Cobden Crescent.

“The fire was caused by a faulty electric blanket.

“A five-month-old boy was treated at the scene before being taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

“This is a salutary reminder that electrical blankets should be checked every year to make sure that they are in good working order.”

The spokeswoman added that by coincidence the service had been carrying out electric blanket testing in West Lothian. She said: “Every winter we deal with this type of incident and, although in small numbers, we want to reduce the likelihood of a repeat.

“In particular, don’t fold electric blankets when storing them as this can cause damage to the wiring. If in doubt, get your blanket tested by a qualified electrician.”

Firefighters used a high pressure hose reel and two breathing masks to tackle the flames.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com