The importance of having working smoke alarms was once again highlighted after a fire in Gravesend today (Thursday).
Fire crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were called to a top floor flat in Pelham Road just after midday, after the smoke alarm sounded, alerting neighbours who phoned 999.
Thames-side Watch Manager, John Allwright, said: “We arrived just minutes later to find smoke billowing out of the property and had to force entry into the flat as the resident was out at the time.“
Firefighters in breathing apparatus used a hose reel and main jet to quickly extinguish the flames and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke and fumes from the smoke filled flat.
The fire is believed to have been caused after a rolled up vivarium heat mat was left on, causing it to overheat and catch alight.
John added: “Fortunately the fire was detected early by neighbours, thanks to the working smoke alarm, which also enabled residents in neighbouring properties to get out to safety. However, the fire left the flat heavily damaged by smoke and this incident does highlight the need for households to be particularly mindful of their electrical appliances and to ensure they are safe and in good working order. If in doubt get them tested by a professional electrician.
“There’s a lot you can do to keep yourself and your family safe and KFRS offers free safety advice to identify potential fire risks in your home. Make sure you’re aware of the dangers - speak to one of our home safety advisors today - call freephone or email us. All our services are free of charge.”