A Dover family have expressed their relief and gratitude after their elderly father survived a house fire, thanks to an alert from his life-line system and the swift action of firefighters.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) was called to the home of 82-year-old Pip Arbon-Davis in Odo Road, Dover at 11.34am yesterday (9 September) after the life-line provider reported that the smoke alarm was sounding in the property.
Two fire engines were sent to the two-storey terraced house, arriving within 6 minutes, and when they opened the door, thick black smoke billowed from the property.
Dover Watch Manager Andy Batchelor said: "We spotted Mr Arbon-Davis laying in the doorway and realised that there was no time to lose, so two firefighters immediately went inside, brought him out and gave him oxygen therapy."
Andy added: "It was an extremely close call and the prompt alert from the care-line system when the smoke alarm activated undoubtedly saved his life."
Crews wearing breathing apparatus then went inside and extinguished a fire in the ground floor kitchen, using a hose reel jet. They remained at the house attending to Mr Arbon-Davis, while ventilating the property.
Mr Arbon-Davis’s family were also contacted by the life-line operators and his son-in-law, Barry, and both daughters, Mandy and Tina, rushed to their father’s home, to discover he was safety out of the house awaiting a check from paramedics.
It is thought that their father may have fallen while trying to deal with a pan of boiled eggs that had burnt dry, and that the fire broke out when was unable to turn off the hob.
His daughter, Tina Gollin, said: "We are extremely grateful for the help and care the firefighters gave to our dad, and the life-line system worked amazingly well. We had it installed a while ago after our dad, who is partially sited, had a couple of falls, and we are so thankful we did.
"We understand that the smoke was very thick and that the firefighters got him out very rapidly. He had taken in some smoke, so he was given a check up at the hospital, but we are happy to say he was given the all clear and luckily he did not need to stay in."
Parts of the kitchen were severely damaged by fire and the remainder of the house was heavily smoke-logged, which meant that Mr Arbon-Davis needed to be rehoused.
"The firefighters were very kind and even came back to see him to check he was okay, which was very much appreciated, and our entire family can’t thank them enough for their actions. They have also put us in touch with their specialist team to see if they have any additional advice they can give us "
Tina added: "My message to anyone with an elderly relative or neighbour, especially with mobility issues or impaired sight or hearing loss, is that they may be at greater risk in the event of a fire and that specialist services are available to help keep your loved-ones safe, so make sure that you contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service to get their free advice "
Contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free advice and information about the range of specialist services offered - call 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines).