A Dartford resident has their neighbours to thank for raising the alarm when fire broke out in their flat.
Crews were called to Fulwich Road at 10.30am today (4 August 2017) after neighbours smelt smoke coming from the first floor flat.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and discovered a fire in the kitchen involving a cooker which had started to spread to the kitchen unit. Crews put out the blaze using a hose reel jet.
It is believed that the occupant had been boiling a pan of water containing baby feeding equipment on the hob, and had forgotten to switch it off before going out.
The water boiled dry, setting the contents alight, which caused the fire.
The fire was contained to the kitchen, causing damage to the top of the cooker and part of the worktop and smoke logging to the flat.
Dartford watch manager John Allright said: “It is fortunate that the neighbours were in when the fire started and noticed the smoke when they did. Without them raising the alarm this fire would have been much more serious.
“Although there was a smoke alarm in the property, the batteries appear to have been removed by the occupant, because of previous occasions where cooking fumes had set it off.”
The crew gave safety advice and fitted new smoke alarms, repositioning one of them further away from the kitchen to avoid it being activated by cooking fumes.
Watch Manager Allright added: “If your smoke alarm keeps going off due to cooking fumes, it may be tempting to deactivate it, however we would strongly advise against doing this as it won’t alert you in the event of an actual fire. It is much safer to relocate it, as we did today, or to consider replacing it with a heat detecting alarm.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) can provide further advice about smoke alarms as well as a range of other safety information and specialist services.
For further information call 0800 923 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.