Sleeping men rescued from Crawley house fire
Two men have been rescued from a house fire in Crawley which initially went undetected because smoke alarm batteries had been removed.
A neighbour spotted smoke pouring from the conservatory of the house in Samphire Close, Broadfield, at about 02:25 GMT and called 999.
Crews from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service woke the two men and led them to safety.
The blaze was contained to the conservatory.
Firefighters also fitted three emergency smoke detectors inside the house.
Julian Bridgeman, from Crawley fire station, said: "Both men were asleep when we arrived, so had the neighbours not spotted the smoke coming from their property and raised the alarm, this incident could have had a very different and possibly tragic outcome.
"This incident really does highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home.
"Although there were smoke detectors in the property, the batteries had been removed which meant the owners didn't get that vital early warning to the fire and it developed dangerously undetected.
"The message from us is really simple - make sure you have a smoke alarm on each level of your home and test them weekly.
"Don't hope they work - know they work."