Ladywood mum praises ‘life-saving’ sprinkler system after fire in tenth-floor flat

Learn how a Ladywood mother, Hana, praises the effectiveness of the sprinkler system that saved the lives of her family after a fire broke out in their tenth-floor flat.

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Published on 19 May 2023

“We couldn’t get out. We were on the tenth floor. It was too high. I can tell you for sure that the sprinklers saved our lives. It is brilliant they were installed in the first place.”

A West Midlands mum says she, her partner and her young son owe their lives to a sprinkler system after it doused a fire in their high-rise home.

Speaking publicly for the first time since their harrowing ordeal, Hana Woldemara (29) has thanked the council who fitted the system and the firefighters who came to the family’s rescue.

And dramatic audio of the 999 call she made to Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire Control has been released, painting a picture of how the control room operator relayed fire survival guidance as fire crews made their way to the scene. The drama unfolded in the early hours of 12 April at Salisbury Tower in Ladywood, Birmingham. Read our full story about the incident. 

It is believed the fire was started by an electric bike, left on charge in the hallway of their flat. The flames cut off the family’s only escape route.

They sought safety on the balcony of their building, accessed through the bedroom, after being advised by the call handler to remain there until the first fire crew arrived.

A fire engine from Ladywood fire station arrived within three minutes of being mobilised. It was joined by three further fire engines, a 4×4 brigade response vehicle, and a hydraulic aerial platform.

Crews arrived to find the fire had been successfully extinguished by the sprinklers and led the three to safety.

Hana in her home, taken from behind cameras filming her interview

Hana has shared her story during the National Fire Chief Council’s dedicated ‘Sprinkler Week 2023’, which educates communities, businesses and local authorities about the life-saving benefits of the automatic systems.

Speaking in her native Amharic language a month on from the ordeal, Hana said: “The sprinklers saved a lot of lives, and even the tower might have been on fire if it was not for the sprinklers.

“We couldn’t get out. We were on the tenth floor. It was too high. I can tell you for sure that the sprinklers saved our lives. It is brilliant they were installed in the first place.”

Read about NFCC National Sprinkler Week 2023 campaign.

“We couldn’t get out. We were on the tenth floor. It was too high. I can tell you for sure that the sprinklers saved our lives. It is brilliant they were installed in the first place.”

A West Midlands mum says she, her partner and her young son owe their lives to a sprinkler system after it doused a fire in their high-rise home.

Speaking publicly for the first time since their harrowing ordeal, Hana Woldemara (29) has thanked the council who fitted the system and the firefighters who came to the family’s rescue.

And dramatic audio of the 999 call she made to Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire Control has been released, painting a picture of how the control room operator relayed fire survival guidance as fire crews made their way to the scene. The drama unfolded in the early hours of 12 April at Salisbury Tower in Ladywood, Birmingham. Read our full story about the incident. 

It is believed the fire was started by an electric bike, left on charge in the hallway of their flat. The flames cut off the family’s only escape route.

They sought safety on the balcony of their building, accessed through the bedroom, after being advised by the call handler to remain there until the first fire crew arrived.

A fire engine from Ladywood fire station arrived within three minutes of being mobilised. It was joined by three further fire engines, a 4×4 brigade response vehicle, and a hydraulic aerial platform.

Crews arrived to find the fire had been successfully extinguished by the sprinklers and led the three to safety.

Hana in her home, taken from behind cameras filming her interview

Hana has shared her story during the National Fire Chief Council’s dedicated ‘Sprinkler Week 2023’, which educates communities, businesses and local authorities about the life-saving benefits of the automatic systems.

Speaking in her native Amharic language a month on from the ordeal, Hana said: “The sprinklers saved a lot of lives, and even the tower might have been on fire if it was not for the sprinklers.

“We couldn’t get out. We were on the tenth floor. It was too high. I can tell you for sure that the sprinklers saved our lives. It is brilliant they were installed in the first place.”

Read about NFCC National Sprinkler Week 2023 campaign.

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