Firefighters are asking the public to be careful around their use of electrical appliances after a Whitstable man had to be given oxygen therapy overnight by crews.
On hearing a loud bang the Station Road resident went to investigate and discovered an electric dehumidifier had caught alight in a ground floor bathroom. He isolated the electricity supply and threw a bucket of water over it, then along with the rest of the occupants got out of the property to safety and called 999.
Two fire engines from Whitstable were called to the semi-detached house just before 1am and Whitstable Watch Manager, Richard Judge, said: “The unit was mainly plastic, once the bathroom door was opened; it allowed thick, black smoke to escape, filling the rest of the ground floor with fire smoke, which is extremely toxic. Please don’t underestimate its effects, it reduces visibility, can make you confused and just three breaths can cause unconsciousness, reducing your chances of escape.
“We don’t go into house fires without a range of specialist protective equipment, it’s crucial for our safety – please don’t take chances with yours. If a fire starts, get out and leave the firefighting to us.”
The man was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
Richard added: “At this time of year we’re starting to use lots more electrical appliances, only leave items that are designed to be left on, like your fridge or freezer running overnight and unplug all other electrical appliances to reduce the risk of fire in your home. We provide a range of free fire safety advice or you can call us free on 0800 923 7000.
Fire crews made the scene safe and provided fire safety advice.