Damage to the electical socket and wall
Fire damage to the kitchen following electrical fire
Firefighters are issuing a safety warning about electrical chargers after a kitchen was severely damaged by a fire in Tunbridge Wells.
Crews were alerted to the fire in Salisbury Road, Langton Green on Sunday afternoon (16 December) after the occupant’s mother entered the house while checking on the dog and discovered it to be smoke filled with a small fire ablaze. She quickly got the dog and herself out of the property and raised the alarm.
When crews arrived the ground floor of the property was heavily smoke-logged and the fire had spread to from the electrical socket to the extractor unit and kitchen cupboards. Crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel, and cleared smoke from the property with a fan.
It is believed that the fire started after a phone charger, that had been left plugged into the socket, overheated and started a smouldering fire in some paper on a nearby worktop. Both the kitchen and dining room of the family home were severely smoke damaged and the remainder of the property was affected by smoke and dust.
Tunbridge Wells crew manager Andrew Hughes said: “The phone charger was discovered still switched on in the socket, and as we can see from the photos, it caused considerable damage. We are urging all residents to make sure that they switch off and unplug chargers after use, and also to take their phone and electrical appliances off charge when the battery is fully charged.
“We are also reminding residents to make sure they only use good quality chargers from reputable suppliers, as cheaper replacement chargers can pose an even greater fire risk due to lower safety standards. It is really not worth risking your life or your home, for the sake of saving a few pounds on a charger.”
Home owner Cathy Brown, mother of two, said: “I was shocked by the amount of damage caused simply by a charger being left plugged in, but I am just so very thankful that the fire was discovered before anyone was injured. I dread to think what could have happened if this fire had broken out while my family slept.
“I am grateful to Kent Fire and Rescue Service for helping to minimise the damage to my home, and to family and friends that who have offered their support to us.”
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