Devon

Two children in hospital after Bradninch house fire

Bradninch fire property, July 2013
Image caption Moments after the man and his four children escaped from the house it was engulfed in flames

Two children were taken to hospital after a house fire in Devon.

Four children, aged between four and 10, and a man were asleep in the house at Bradninch, near Exeter, when smoke alarms alerted them to the fire just before 03:00 BST.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the terraced property was totally destroyed.

The two children, who needed treatment for the effects of inhaling smoke, have been released from hospital.

An investigation into how the fire started has begun, but the fire service said it was not thought to be suspicious.

Nigel Deasy, the incident commander at the scene, said the family's lives were saved by an escape plan.

"The family was able to survive this fire because of their fantastic fire escape plan which the children were able to follow," he told BBC News.

"I'd like to send our condolences to the family, but also I must congratulate them for their organisation which let them escape this fire."

Group Commander Mal Swallow, an investigator for the fire service, said moments after the family escaped from the house it was "engulfed in flames".

"Without a doubt the smoke alarms saved their lives," he added.

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