News release text
A man has been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after two people were rescued from a fire believed to have been caused by an unattended candle.
Two fire engines were called to the two-storey property in Loose Road, just before 8pm after fire broke out in a first floor flat. When they arrived, flames were pouring out of the bay window up into the soffits and facia.
Firefighters wore breathing apparatus to tackle the fire using a hose reel, main jet and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke. They used a ladder to rescue the two people from a flat roof.
Maidstone Watch Manager, Roy Ingram said: “It appears the couple from the first floor flat had left two tea lights burning on top of a plastic stereo. They thought they had blown them out fully before leaving their home. The candles melted through the top and caught alight.
“Fortunately, the property had working smoke alarms which alerted other residents to the blaze. However, they were unaware the couple were not in the property and concerned for their safety, opened the flat door, allowing the fire to take hold quickly and cause considerable heat and smoke damage to the other flats within the property.”
Fire crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire spreading into the roof and gave oxygen therapy to one of the residents prior to him being taken to hospital by ambulance crews.
Roy added: “In the event of fire in your home its always best to get out, closing the doors behind you as you leave but this is a clear reminder of the dangers of leaving lit candles unattended and how quickly they can cause a major fire.”
It took the crews around two hours to deal with the fire.