Electronic cigarette charger
Firefighters are issuing a warning about the dangers of leaving electronic gadgets on charge after a fire at a house in Dover last night (1 May 2018).
Crews were called to the two-storey property in Coombe Valley Road just after 9pm after a family discovered smoke coming from the first floor of their home.
Three fire engines attended and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus located the fire in the first floor front bedroom. Firefighters used a hose reel to extinguish the blaze and contain the fire damage to a small area of the bedroom, however the first floor of the house was severely smoked-logged.
Fortunately, the family - a couple with two children – escaped unharmed, however firefighters have warned that the situation could have been far more serious if the incident had happened while the family was asleep.
Dover crew manager Adrian Hawkins said: “The fire is believed to have started in an electronic cigarette charger that had overheated, causing it to explode and set fire to a computer and desk. Due to the plastic and electronics involved in the fire, the smoke was particularly acrid and highly toxic. It appears that there were no working smoke alarms to alert the family to the fire, so if the fire had happened during the night, they may not have realised until much later, with serious consequences.
“We are advising residents to unplug any chargers as soon as their devices have charged up, and to never leave them charging overnight, or while they are out. Please also ensure you have smoke alarms fitted on all floors of your property and that you test them weekly to ensure they will provide early warning in the unfortunate event of a fire.”
The British Red Cross victim support unit attended to offer support to the family, who had to find alternative accommodation overnight.
Crew will be returning to the area to offer fire safety advice to residents following this incident.