Firefighters saved the lives of two family pets when they tackled a kitchen blaze in Sheerness this lunchtime.
The fire was discovered by a neighbour who heard the smoke alarms sounding and went to investigate. She opened the front door using a spare key and was confronted with thick black smoke, so immediately closed the door and called Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS).
Crews from Eastchurch and Sheppey were sent to the mid-terraced, three storey house in Queenborough Road at 11.48am and arrived within four minutes of the 999 call.
Crew Manager, Nick Scott said: “Fortunately, the neighbour was able to tell us where Stanley, a four-month old black Labrador puppy was kept. Our breathing apparatus team found him in the corner of the kitchen, distressed and shaking. They carried him to safety, where he was given oxygen, a drink of water and a good wash down once he’d recovered. The hamster had managed to escape from his cage after it melted and was also brought out safely by crews. Sadly the family’s pet parrot perished in the blaze.
“There is no doubt the working smoke alarms did their job and without them and the neighbour’s quick-thinking actions, the fire could have burnt undetected for longer. Three breaths of smoke can be enough to kill so that early warning could make the difference between life and death.”
Crews used a hose reel and covering jet to tackle the fire, which was extinguished by 12.35pm. They remained at the scene damping down for a further 30 minutes.
The fire, which is thought to have started accidentally, caused smoke and heat damage throughout the entire property and a Red Cross vehicle was called to provide emotional and practical support to the resident, who had returned home.
For further advice on how to keep you, your family or a neighbour safe from fire call Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free on 0800 923 7000 or go to www.3breaths.info for further information.