News release text
A man has been taken to hospital following a flat fire in Margate caused by a poorly discarded cigarette.
Two fire engines were called to Montefiore Court in Harold Road, Margate, shortly before 10pm following an automatic fire alarm system sounding. Crews arrived within five minutes and tackled the fire in the lounge of the property with a hose reel jet.
The fire started after a cigarette was accidentally left on a sofa causing it to smoulder and catch alight. While the quick action of crews prevented the fire spreading any further, the rest of the flat was effected by light smoke damage.
A man believed to be in his sixties, who assisted with the evacuation of the building prior to firefighters arriving, was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and taken to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check.
Station Manager Garry Lovejoy, who attended the incident, said: “While mistakes can and do happen, we would urge people to be as careful as possible when discarding smoking materials. Cigarettes and cigars are designed to stay alight and can burn at extremely hot temperatures. This means that one smouldering cigarette could burn unnoticed for some time before suddenly spreading into a serious fire.”
Follow these simple tips to keep you and your family safe from the threat of fire:
Don’t leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire. When you put it out, make sure it really is out
Use a deep, heavy ashtray which can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn
Don’t smoke in bed
Take extra care if you’re feeling tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking prescription drugs
Close all inside doors at night – closed doors help to reduce the spread of fire, giving you more time to escape
Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children
Don't discard cigarettes out of car windows as this can set light to grass verges and
grassland areas and is illegal
Fit smoke alarms in your home and test them weekly