Staplehurst residents were praised this morning by firefighters, for pulling together in the wake of a house fire in Butchers Close.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s (KFRS) Emergency Control Room was alerted to the fire by the occupants shortly after 5am. The couple had managed to get out of their home and neighbours then alerted the rest of the close, evacuating all the nearby properties.
When crews arrived the fire had taken hold of the bedroom and roof void. Four fire engines and around 17 firefighters battled the blaze, which they fought externally wearing breathing apparatus.
Maidstone Watch Manager, Dominic Moore, explained what happened: “We created a fire break using fog spike to punch holes into the structure of the property. This allowed us to get water into the void creating a super-fine misting effect, which dramatically reduced the temperature. A hose reel and hydrant were also used and we were successfully able to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring properties.”
The fire is believed to have started accidentally due to a suspected fault with the timing switch in an airing cupboard and caused severe fire damage to the top floor of the house.
Dominic added: “The couple did exactly the right thing in getting out of their home to safety and the neighbours were also a huge help in evacuating other properties.
“If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire in your home, please get out as quickly and safely as possible, closing the door on the fire as you leave. This will help limit the damage and spread of the fire. My other advice would be to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them, along with your escape plan on a regular basis.”
Crews helped the couple to salvage belongings and will be revisiting the area with fire safety advice in the coming days.