News release text
A fire in Chatham, caused by an incense stick being used during worship, has prompted a series of activities by fire crews among the area’s Asian communities.
The blaze in Pagitt Street last month was caused after falling embers set light to the contents of a waste paper bin. Fortunately a working smoke alarm warned the residents, no-one was hurt and there was no major damage caused.
Since the incident, Medway’s red watch have been working alongside Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s Principal Community Liaison Officer Pirthipal Kang to raise fire safety messages with key community groups across the area.
Crew Manager Rich Emery said: “This incident highlighted some important issues and we thought it would be a good opportunity to actively promote fire awareness during prayers within the Asian community. This included a visit to one of the weekly meeting’s of the Medway Hindu Women's Group in Gillingham, where we were able to talk to members from Medway and further afield, from Sittingbourne and Bexley.”
Mr Kang added: “The meeting consisted of over 40 attendees, including representatives from the Medway Hindu Temple, the Medway Sikh Temple and the Medway Hindu Elderly People's Group. This provided the perfect forum to engage a wide-ranging audience and is part of the many ongoing activities which our community safety team carry out with groups of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.”
Main messages included the importance of a working smoke alarm, looking after elderly relatives and ensuring they are safe from fire while detailing the services provided by KFRS’s Vulnerable Person's Team.
Further activity includes KFRS firefighters attending the forthcoming Medway Mela from 2pm to 6pm on 22 June where they will be giving out advice and holding fire safety demonstrations. They will also be visiting the Medway Towns Gurdwara on 23 June.