Kent Fire & Service Rescue Service issues cigarette safety warning
Edwina Nixon fell asleep while smoking which set light to the sofa at her home in Station Road, shortly after 7pm last night.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) was alerted to the terrace property after neighbours spotted smoke and two appliances from Whitstable were sent.
Edwina's partner Steve Stubbs had been out when the blaze started and arrived home shortly before firefighters. He said: "I got to the door and found our dog Joe was behind it, I managed to drag him out but couldn't get any further in because of the smoke.
"The fire crews were then there and they had Edwina out within seconds, they were absolutely brilliant and I know that Edwina and Joe could have died if it hadn't been for them. I'd warned Edwina about cigarettes before but I think we've both learned our lesson now."
45-year-old Edwina was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics before being taken to hospital. The dog was unconscious but was revived with oxygen therapy.
Whitstable Watch Manager David Nolan said: "This sends out a really important warning to others about the dangers of smoking and not disposing of cigarettes carefully. If it hadn't been for the neighbour, we could easily have been dealing with a fatality.
"Two retained firefighters rescued the lady and both crews did an excellent job of limiting the spread of the fire although the whole house has been smoke damaged. Our warning is that other residents might not be as lucky."
Follow these simple tips to keep you and your family safe from the threat of fire:
KFRS offers free home fire safety checks to all residents. They take around 30 minutes and include tips on the dangers of smoking materials, care with candles, electrical safety and planning escape routes in the event of fire. Free 10-year battery smoke alarms are also fitted where needed to give early warning of fire and help people escape.
To request a Home Fire Safety Check contact your nearest fire station or call the Community Safety team for free on 0800 923 7000. For more fire safety information, log onto www.kent.fire-uk.org
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