Burnt out extension cable
Firefighters have issued an urgent safety warning after an extension lead overheated, starting a house fire in Hamstreet, near Ashford last night (Tuesday, 7 November).
The blaze was discovered by a neighbour just before 8pm who heard the smoke alarms sounding and went into the house. The occupant was not home at the time so the neighbour attempted to put the fire out, taking in smoke in the process.
Three fire engines were sent to the end-of-terrace property and arrived to find smoke billowing from the rear of the house. They gave the neighbour oxygen therapy before handing him into the care of an-off duty paramedic for precautionary checks.
Ashford Watch Manager, Kevin Surridge said: “A breathing apparatus team found a coiled up extension reel that was run to a tumble drier in a first-floor rear bedroom, had sparked the blaze.”
Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out and cleared smoke and fumes from the property using a special fan.
Kevin added: “As the weather cools down, we start to use more electrical appliances around our homes, but my advice would be to only use them when you are there, never leave them running while you're asleep or away from your home.”
With Christmas next month, homeowners will soon be thinking about decorating their homes with lights and are asked to please keep safety in mind – don’t overload sockets, use circuit breakers and make sure extension leads are fully unwound to prevent overheating.
Kevin ended: “Just because there might be space to plug in four appliances on an extension lead, it doesn’t mean it’s always safe to do so. Make sure your home and family are safe from the devastating effects of fire this winter by having working smoke alarms and testing them regularly.”
The fire damage was limited to the room of origin, but caused extensive heat and smoke damage to the first floor.
If you have any concerns about keeping yourself or a friend or relative safe, get in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service by email or phone.