News release text
Three people and three dogs had to leave their Gravesend home on Friday evening, (18 January), after fire broke out in their garage.
The homeowner, a man thought to be in his early 50’s, smelt smoke and went to his kitchen to investigate where he found smoke billowing in from the garage connected to the house.
He called the fire service just after 8pm and while his son, his son’s girlfriend and their three dogs left the property, the man opened the door from the kitchen to the garage and attempted to tackle the fire with a small foam fire extinguisher. He was quickly overcome by smoke so evacuated the building, leaving the kitchen door open.
Two fire engines were sent to the Codrington Crescent property and crews fought the intense fire using a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke. The man was given oxygen therapy by firefighters before being taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
Thames-side watch manager, Ian Crouch, said: “The reality is fire can happen to anyone at any time but the real killer is smoke. A working smoke alarm could save your life by providing precious extra time for you to escape. Make sure you fit working smoke alarms in your home and that you test them regularly. The garage at this property had a smoke alarm fitted but sadly it didn’t activate because the batteries had been removed.
“If you discover a fire in your home, close the door on it as this will limit the damage. Get out of your home and call the fire service out. Leave the firefighting to us, we have the training and specialist equipment to tackle fires and it’s not worth getting hurt or risking your life.”
The fire is thought to have been caused after some hot coals were taken from the lounge fire into the garage to prevent the water pipes from freezing.
Crews spent almost two hours tackling the blaze, which caused severe heat and smoke damage to the kitchen. The rest of the house suffered smoke damage and the contents of the garage were destroyed by the blaze.
The Red Cross vehicle also attended to provide the family with practical and emotional support.