A Rochester resident has their neighbours and a working smoke alarm to thank for helping to prevent a fire breaking out in their home.
The neighbours heard a smoke alarm sounding from a house in Warren Wood Road at about 1.45pm yesterday (4 July) and went to investigate.
They discovered heavy smoke logging on the ground floor of the property, coming from the kitchen.
It appears that the resident had accidently left a pan of eggs on the stove when they left their home that morning. The pan had boiled dry, causing the eggs to explode, creating thick smoke.
The neighbours immediately called 999, then gained access to the house via the back door, before reaching inside to remove the pan from the stove.
When firefighters arrived the smoke had started to clear from the property, leaving only light smoke logging in the kitchen
Rochester crew manager Darryl Spicer said: “This incident highlights just how vital it is to have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of your home to provide early warning of a fire. Even if you are out, there’s a chance that the alarm will alert a neighbour or a passer-by. Without a working smoke alarm and the swift actions of the neighbours in calling 999 this incident could have been far more serious.
“Over half the domestic fires KFRS attends start in the kitchen and it is very easy to get distracted while cooking, so we are reminding residents to make sure they keep their eye on their cooking at all times and switch off their cooking appliances after use.”
This incident follows several other kitchen near-misses elsewhere in the county over the last few days that had the potential to develop into fires:
On Sunday (3 July) fire crews were called to a fire in an oven in Sussex Road, Dartford at 1.15pm, caused by a build up of flammable material. Crews removed the oven to the garden, fitted a smoke alarm on the first floor of the property and gave the occupiers some fire safety advice.
Earlier the same day crews were called to Bell Grove, Aylesham to a pan alight in an oven. Fortunately, the pan was out when crews arrived after smoke alarms alerted the residents to the incident.
On Saturday evening (2 July) at 5.17pm crews were called to Flack Gardens, Hoo after smoke started issuing from a cooker, caused by a build up of fat overheating. Crews checked the kitchen with a thermal imaging camera.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service has launched a kitchen fire safety campaign, to highlight the risks and a encourage families to make kitchen safety their main ingredient when they are cooking.