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''Cool your coals'' advice from firefighters

''Cool your coals'' advice from firefighters after Margate shed blaze

Photo of a charcoal barbecue in use
Take care to use your barbecue safely

7 May 2017

Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to a fire involving a garden shed in Westbrook Avenue, Margate at 2.48am. Two fire engines were sent to the property and arrived to find the shed fully involved in fire.  

The alarm was raised by a neighbour who woke when he heard the fire crackling and two fire engines were sent.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used two hose reels to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the shed and its contents, including children’s garden toys. A thermal scan of the property and surrounding properties was also carried out to check for hot spots. 

The blaze is thought to have been started, after the occupant put what he thought were cold barbecue coals into a plastic bag. He left the bag close to the garden shed, which caught alight as the coals continued smouldering.

Margate Watch Manager, Gary Miller, said: “Unfortunately, coals and ashes that seem cold on the surface may still be hot deep inside. Have a look at our website for more safety tips to help keep your home and family safe around barbecues and bonfires

“We’re all hoping that summer and some warmer weather will be with us soon, so we can enjoy barbecues in the garden, but please make sure safety is a key ingredient. Always dispose of ashes and coals carefully. Douse them with water, put them into a metal container and once cool, empty them onto bare soil, not into a plastic bin.”

The fire also caused superficial damage to plastic fascia board on a double garage and wooden fence panels at a neighbouring property.

Gary ended: “Fortunately, we arrived just in time to prevent further fire spread to a timber framed double garage which is under construction."

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