Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to a fire in a first floor bedroom in Manorfield, Ashford at 5.13pm. It is believed that the occupants had turned the hot water on before going out and returned to find their home full of smoke and their alarms sounding.
After opening the door to investigate and seeing thick smoke coming down their open plan stairs, the couple did exactly the right thing in phoning 999 and waiting outside for the fire service.
Two fire engines were quickly on the scene and a breathing apparatus team used thermal imaging cameras to locate the fire in an airing cupboard in the bedroom.
The contents of the airing cupboard, sheets, bedding and towels were smouldering but hadn’t fully combusted, so crews were able to pass affected items out of the bedroom window and used a hose reel to damp down. After isolating the gas, electric and water, they checked the water pipe lagging in the loft area and stripped out the airing cupboard door frame to ensure there was no fire spread. A special fan was used to clear the smoke.
A neighbouring home was also evacuated as a precaution until the extent of the fire was known. Other neighbours showed their community spirit, providing assistance to those temporarily displaced from their homes while firefighters dealt with the incident, which caused a small amount of water, heat and smoke damage to the affected home.
Firefighters left the scene shortly after 6.30pm.