News release text
A woman and her teenage daughter were treated for smoke inhalation this morning (Tuesday) after fire broke out in a tumble dryer.
Fire crews were sent to the two-storey house in Railway Road, Gillingham at 3.08am after a neighbour smelt smoke. He alerted emergency services, then banged on the door waking the couple and their two teenage children, enabling them to get out of the property to safety.
Three fire engines were on the scene within minutes and the pair were treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital, suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels and a positive pressure ventilation fan to tackle the blaze in a ground floor utility room.
Medway Watch Manager, Kevin Chapman said: “The family left clothes drying in the tumble dryer overnight. We believe it overheated and caught light because there was insufficient space around the machine to allow the air to circulate sufficiently.
“I would urge people to take extra care when using tumble dryers and other electrical appliances and never leave them running when you are out of the home or in bed. Get them serviced regularly, clean tumble dryer filters frequently and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Switch electrical appliances off when not in use.”
The fire destroyed the utility room and kitchen but crews were able to successfully limit damage to these two rooms.
Kevin added: “While the property had a smoke alarm, it didn’t sound when the fire started because it was incorrectly positioned. It’s essential to make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted in the right place in your home. They really are the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home to help protect you and your family from the threat of fire.”
Anyone who is in any doubt as to whether their alarms are in the right place in their home or wants free fire safety advice should call Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Crews fitted working smoke alarms in the house and will be visiting neighbouring properties to offer free fire safety advice.