News release text
Two families have their working smoke alarms to thank for ensuring their early escape after fire broke out in their homes. Both incidents – in Hempstead, Gillingham and New Romney – were caused by white goods.
A Hempstead resident had left her dishwasher on overnight and was woken at around 4.30am this morning (25 February) by her alarm sounding. She went to investigate and discovered it alight. She immediately woke her young son and elderly mother, got them out of their Cedar Grove home and phoned the fire service.
Two fire engines from Medway were at the house within a matter of minutes and firefighters in breathing apparatus (BA) quickly extinguished the blaze using a high pressure hose reel. The appliance was then taken outside and crews ventilated the property using a special fan.
Medway Watch Manager, Mike Robins, said: “My advice would be don’t leave electrical appliances to run overnight or when you are not in the house and get into the habit of closing doors when you go to bed at night as this will stop a fire spreading.”
The whole house suffered smoke damage and the dishwasher, a washing machine, worktops and flooring were also damaged by fire.
This followed a fire yesterday afternoon in Daglish Close, New Romney. Two fire engines were sent to the house around 3.20pm and were met by the family, who were waiting outside their home.
Folkestone Watch Manager, Vic Thorogood, said: “The occupants actions were first class, on hearing their smoke alarms sounding, they left their home, phoned 999 and were able to provide us with a brief on the situation before we went into their home.
BA crews found clothing in the tumble dryer alight. They removed the machine from the terraced house and extinguished the fire. They used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke and fumes from the property.
Vic added: “Once again the benefits of have a working smoke alarm have proved their worth by providing the early warning needed. They really are the most valuable life-saving device in any home.”
Crews left the area close to 4pm after delivering fire safety advice to neighbouring properties.