News release text
Firefighters are reminding residents of the importance of taking extra care in the kitchen after two fires last night (Thursday) in Folkestone and Hextable.
A woman believed to be in her early 60’s and her four-year-old grandson were taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering minor smoke inhalation when fire broke out in their Folkestone kitchen just after 10pm last night.
A crew from Folkestone and one from Dover were sent to the Warren Close flat and quickly extinguished the blaze with a high pressure hosereel.
Folkestone Watch Manager, Heather Heath, said: “The working smoke alarms in the property did their job and gave the early warning needed. We were there within five minutes and quickly had the small fire under control.”
The fire is believed to have been caused by a build-up of fat and oil in the cooker.
At 11.23pm the same evening, two fire engines from Dartford were sent to Bower Road, Hextable, after a pan of hot fat was left unattended, setting the kitchen units on fire and causing severe smoke damage to the remainder of the house.
Dartford Watch Manager, Lee Abel, said: “This was a very close call for this young family. Luckily the smoke detector sounded, raising the alarm, giving the man, his wife and young child the valuable minutes needed to get out of their detached home to safety.
“However, the man then returned to the fire, removed the pan from the heat and threw it out of the window, extinguishing the fire. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt but it could have been a very different story.
“If you have a chip pan fire, never move the pan or throw water over it – it could explode causing serious injury. Turn off the heat – if you can do so safely - and get out of your home. Your property and possessions are replaceable, your life isn’t. My advice is simple; never try to tackle a fire yourself, leave that to professional firefighters. Get out of your home to safety, close the doors behind you to limit the fire spread and dial 999.”
Fire crews used a positive pressure ventilation fan (PPV) to clear the smoke-logged kitchen and fitted additional smoke alarms in the property.