News release text
Never use petrol to start a fire – this is the warning after a man attempted to light a bonfire in his Swanley garden, using a rag soaked in petrol.
Two fire engines from Dartford and one from Thames-side were called to a garden in Button Street at 2.20pm and tackled the blaze using two hose reel jets.
Dartford Crew Manager, Gary Miller, said: “As the rag was lit, the vapours from the petrol ignited causing a momentary fireball. The man dropped the rag and as he moved to a place of safety, he knocked over a petrol container that was stored close by, spilling the contents onto wooden decking and close to an adjacent brick built outhouse.”
“Unfortunately this man underestimated the consequences of putting petrol onto a fire. Our advice is never use any type of accelerant on a fire. He was lucky to escape without any injuries but half the building and roof were destroyed and our crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire spreading to a neighbouring shed.”
Crews extinguished the blaze shortly after 3pm but remained at the property removing roof tiles to check for hot spots and damping down until 3.45pm.
Follow our top tips for safer bonfires:
Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges
Never use flammable liquids such as petrol to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water
Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire spread.
Local fire crews will be in the area handing out summer safety advice following this incident.