News release text
Working smoke alarms meant two men escaped a fire that could potentially have killed them last night say firefighters.
The father and son, who were asleep at the time, heard their alarms sounding and left their semi-detached Town Hill house, just before 11.30pm (Monday) and phoned the emergency services.
Firefighters from Tunbridge Wells were sent to the property and went in wearing breathing apparatus. Watch Manager, Mark Havell said: “When we arrived, the fire was fully developed and the whole house was completely smoke logged. The smoke alarms certainly did their job and ensured that both men made it out alive.
“After tackling the fire on the ground floor with a hose reel, we had to remove a large amount of burning soot from the chimney that was creating 10 foot high flames in the chimney breast. We took the burning material outside and once this was extinguished, we were able to rod the chimney to make it safe. We then ventilated the house using a special fan.”
The hearth and inspection hatch were completely destroyed and the whole house was damaged by smoke.
Mark added: “The smoke alarms certainly did their job, make sure you fit them on every floor of your home and test them regularly. Without them you are could be putting your life in danger.
“It’s also essential to make sure your chimney is swept at least once a year – more frequently if you burn wood.”