Firefighters are urging residents to avoid putting themselves at risk after a couple of fires at the weekend where people were injured.
Maidstone crews were called to a fire at a house in Bower Street in the early hours of yesterday morning (1 September 2014) and treated a sixteen-year-old boy for minor burns to his hands, after a failed attempt to put out a mattress fire.
It appears that this fire, which is thought to have been accidental, started in a second-floor bedroom. Fortunately, the property had working smoke alarms which alerted the occupant to the fire.
The teenager tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and, when this failed, it is believed that he carried the mattress downstairs to the kitchen. He tried again to extinguish the fire, but unfortunately it flared up again and he was forced to abandon his attempts.
When crews arrived at the scene, they entered the building in breathing apparatus and extinguished two fires across the three floors of the property, using a hose reel. They also used a positive pressure ventilation fan to minimise the spread of fire and smoke, and a thermal-imaging camera to ensure all hotspots were out.
The occupant was given first aid by fire crews for superficial burns and did not require further treatment.
This incident follows another incident on Sunday (31 August) in Ramsgate, where a man was injured trying to tackle a chip pan fire. On this occasion the man was taken to hospital for checks, after breathing in smoke and sustaining burns to his hand and forearm.
Maidstone Watch Manager Chris Puxsted said: “It is a natural instinct to want to try and put a fire out yourself, but as these incident show, fire can be very unpredictable and difficult to control or put out safely. It is easy to get injured, and people often don’t realise just how overpowering and damaging toxic fire smoke is.
I would strongly urge any residents who are alerted to a fire in their home to get out as quickly as possible, to stay out and to call 999.”
Further free fire safety advice is available on this website, by calling (free from landlines) 0800 923 7000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org