Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has issued a safety warning after a man was injured while tackling a chip pan fire at a flat in Ramsgate.
Fire crews were called to reports of smoke issuing from a second floor flat in Manston Road, Ramsgate at 8pm yesterday evening (31 August).
Two fire engines were sent to the scene, the first arriving within four minutes of the call.
A man, believed to be approximately 27 years old, and two children were already outside the property.
It is believed that a chip pan was briefly left unattended and caught alight, and that the eldest child raised the alarm before the smoke detector activated.
The man tackled the fire and sustained superficial burns to his forearm and hand. He was taken to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check as he was suffering from smoke inhalation.
Margate Watch Manager Nikki Escudier, who attended the scene, said: “Due to failed attempts using a damp tea towel, the man placed the pan beneath a running tap which unfortunately caused the fire to flash over his arms.
“While the man’s actions may have ultimately reduced the fire spreading, it was at considerable risk to his life. Fortunately, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, however the effects of breathing in toxic smoke from a fire like this can be deadly. I would urge people to avoid trying to tackle a fire themselves.”
She added: “Instead, please get out of the property, stay out and call the fire service out.”
Watch Manager Escudier also praised the actions of the eldest child who raised the alarm.
She said: “He remembered the fire safety advice that had been given to him at school by KFRS’s Education Team, and made sure that he and his younger brother - who is disabled - stayed down low to avoid the smoke, and as a result they did not suffer any effects of smoke inhalation.”
Fire crews made sure that the fire was completely out and fitted an additional smoke alarm in the flat. The kitchen was severely damaged by smoke and heat.
KFRS is urging people to take extra care when using chip pans and to follow our safety advice when cooking, to ensure your mealtime doesn’t result in disaster.
Further free fire safety advice is available on this website, by calling (free from landlines) 0800 923 7000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org