Kent Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people not to leave electrical items on overnight or while they are away from their homes, after a power bar charger sparked a blaze in a Gillingham flat in the early hours of this morning.
The warning comes after a Gillingham couple were forced to leave their Trafalgar Street home after the charger that had been left to charge, overheated setting light to furniture.
Two fire engines rushed to the scene after the resident phoned 999 at 2.43am, the first arriving at the flat within seven minutes.
Crew Manager, Benn Fletcher explained what happened: "Fortunately, the working smoke alarms woke the couple, who did exactly the right thing in phoning us and alerting neighbours. A number of residents were in the street when we arrived.
"The occupant of the flat, a man thought to be in his mid 20’s was outside his home, his face was blackened by the smoke. He was really helpful and able to tell us exactly where the fire was so our breathing apparatus team were quickly able to put the fire out using a hose reel. A positive pressure ventilation fan was used to clear smoke from the flat, the communal areas and neighbouring homes."
Fire crews rescued two cats and Benn added: "They were clearly frightened but fortunately unharmed."
Oxygen therapy was given to the couple at the scene who were then taken to hospital by paramedics for precautionary checks.
The fire destroyed the lounge/kitchenette area and caused smoke damage in the hall way and communal areas. Firefighters left the scene just after 4am.
Benn added: "It’s best to be safe not sorry; only charge electrical devices when you’re at home and always read and retain the instructions. It’s also vital that you have working smoke alarms in your home, they really are your home’s unsung heroes; standing guard around the clock alerting you to the danger of fire in your home. Make sure you fit them on every floor of your home and test them weekly."
If you need advice on how to keep your family and home safe from fire, get in touch.