Fire crews are praising the brave actions of a 16-year-old Gillingham boy, Ryan Smith, following a kitchen fire in Gillingham on Saturday afternoon, (13 June).
Two fire engines were sent to the property in Rock Avenue at 2.01pm and arrived within minutes of receiving the emergency call.
Medway Crew Manager, Shaun Humphries said: “Ryan was just passing the house when he heard the smoke alarms sounding and spotted smoking billowing out of the ground floor kitchen window and immediately phoned 999.
“Without thinking about his own safety, he went into the house, made sure that everyone got out safely, and then closed the kitchen door. He also put a duvet at the bottom of the door to stop the smoke spreading through the three-storey building and closed the internal doors on his way out.”
Ryan Smith of Shakespeare Road, Gillingham, explained: “I’ve been an Air Cadet with 1039 Gillingham Squadron since I was 13 and one of our training sessions was spent at RAF Brize Norton, where we learned the basic roles and techniques of what to do in a fire situation. I was pleased to be able to put this training into use and that I was able to make a difference.”
Shaun added: “Thanks to Ryan’s incredibly brave actions, nobody was hurt, the fire didn’t spread to other parts of the house and smoke damage was significantly reduced.
"We invited him along to Medway Fire Station today (Monday, 29 June) so that we can personally thank him for his efforts."
Ryan was presented with a letter of thanks from Ann Millington, the Chief Executive of KFRS and invited to attend an Awards Ceremony in September. He was given a tour of the fire station and shown the latest equipment that KFRS use to tackle a wide range of emergency incidents.
The blaze is believed to have started accidentally after a pan of oil was left unattended on the hob. It ignited, setting fire to an overhead extractor unit. Fire crews in breathing apparatus used a hose reel to put it out and a special fan to clear smoke and fumes from the property. Fire crews left the scene around 2.40pm.