Firefighters from Dartford stopped flames from a brazier causing serious damage to a home when they were called out to Willow Road, Dartford last night (Monday, 25 July).
Crews were alerted to the blaze by the resident who spotted a big plume of smoke and thought his car was on fire at around 7.30pm. He discovered the brazier fire he had left burning had set light to a pile of wood stored next to the house, spreading to external cladding on the building.
Two fire engines were sent to the property, arriving within six minutes of the 999 call and Watch Manager, Rich Emery, said: “Two hose reels were used to put the blaze out. A breathing apparatus (BA) team then went inside the house with a thermal imaging camera to check that the fire hadn’t got into the roof space.”
Crews worked from ladders using small tools to strip away the cladding that had been damaged by heat and flames to ensure the fire was completely out and hadn’t spread further.
Firefighters also responded to a call about a number of garden bonfires in close proximity in Lennox Road, and St James Avenue, Gravesend at around 5.45pm. Crews used a hose reel to reduce the size of one of the bonfires and residents were given advice about the large amount of smoke in the area, causing a nuisance to other residents.
Earlier the same evening (5.02pm), firefighters spent an hour extinguishing a blaze in Suffolk Road, Gravesend involving fencing and two garden sheds. A BA team used a hose reel to put the fire out and a teenage boy was treated by firefighters for the effects of breathing in smoke and burns to his hands. He was then handed into the care of paramedics.
Rich added: “We would always encourage businesses and residents to dispose of their rubbish and materials responsibly, ideally garden composting or by taking them to a waste/recycling site. However, if you do light a bonfire, please be careful, especially during this warmer weather when bushes and undergrowth are particularly dry and fires can spread easily.
“Please think about your neighbours and don’t cause a nuisance, they want to enjoy their gardens too. There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause, get advice here”