A fire in a chimney stack caused by a build up of soot at a home in Speldhurst has prompted a warning from firefighters to residents with open fires.
Crews were called to a two-storey property in Lower Green Road at 4.13pm on Monday (5 January 2015) and dealt with a roaring blaze that had ignited in the chimney stack of the property.
Although the chimney had only been swept back in October (2014), frequent burning of wood on the open fire since then caused a significant build up of soot in the stack, which caught alight.
Tunbridge Wells Watch Manager Mark Havell said: "Householders with open fires may think their homes are protected because they had their chimneys swept before the cold weather set in. But as this incident shows, if you have been using your fire frequently over the Christmas and New Year there may be more of a build up of soot in the chimney stack than you realise.
"Working chimneys should be swept at least twice a year as a matter of routine, but if you have been burning lots of wood since it was last swept I would strongly recommend that you consider having it swept again."
Mark added: "Fortunately, the crew were able to contain the fire to the chimney however the incident could have been more serious, as there were no smoke alarms in the property to alert the occupants. Please ensure you have at least one working smoke alarm on each floor of your property to provide you with early warning in the event of a fire."
Crews fitted two free smoke alarms and gave further fire safety advice to the residents before leaving the property.