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18 October 2014 - Fire in Southborough flat highlights dangers of fire smoke

Fire in Southborough flat highlights dangers of fire smoke

The dangers of fire smoke were highlighted early this morning (18 October) after a television caught fire, resulting in two Southborough residents needing medical treatment for smoke inhalation.

Two fire crews were sent toLondon Road, Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells, at 5.12am to tackle a fire in a first floor flat.

Firefighters entered the two-storey building wearing breathing apparatus and tackled a fire in the lounge of the property, using a hose reel jet. They used a thermal imaging camera to ensure the fire was out and a positive pressure ventilation fan to remove smoke from the building.

The hard-wired fire alarm system in the flats had alerted residents to the blaze, and everyone was out of the property when crews arrived. However, a man and a woman, both in their early twenties needed oxygen therapy for the effects of breathing in smoke, after trying to smother the fire with a wet duvet. They were passed to the care of ambulance crews for further checks.

It is believed that the fire started in wiring to a television and had spread to nearby clothing. Fire damage was contained to part of the lounge and half of the flat was smoke damaged.

Tunbridge Wells firefighter Graham Knight said: “Thankfully, the fire alarm alerted residents to this blaze, enabling them to get out and promptly raise the alarm, however we would ask people to consider the potential risks of injury to themselves when they discover a fire in their home.

“While it is natural to want to try and tackle a fire yourself, it is easy to underestimate just how overpowering fire smoke can be. Just three breaths can knock you unconscious.”

He added: “Our advice is to leave the property as soon as you can to minimise the risk of injury, closing doors behind you where possible, to reduce the spread of smoke and to help contain the fire.”

You can get free fire safety advice on this website, by calling us on 0800 923 7000 (free from most landlines, mobile charges may vary) or by emailing your contact details to home@kent.fire-uk.org

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