A Dover resident was lucky to escape with her life after being overcome by smoke from a bedroom fire at a flat in Christchurch Way in the early hours of Saturday morning (10th November 2018). Fire crews praised the efforts of police officers, who were initially called to the scene after a neighbor reported hearing cries for help from a ground floor flat. Kent Police officers discovered the fire and realized someone was trapped inside. Unfortunately, there were no working smoke alarms in the flat to warn the resident of the fire"After alerting Kent Fire and Rescue Service, police officers tried to help the occupant by breaking some of the windows and attempting to break down the door. Three fire engines were quickly sent to the scene and crews wearing breathing apparatus used breaching equipment to enter the heavily smoke-logged flat. Severe damage to flat due to smoke They found a woman who had been overcome by smoke in the lounge. She was rescued from the property and given first aid and oxygen therapy, before being passed into the care of South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb). Firefighters put out the blaze in a bedroom and managed to contain the fire damage to a mattress and some clothing, however the thick smoke caused severe damage to the remainder of the flat. Dover crew manager Adrian Hawkins said: “Unfortunately, there were no working smoke alarms in the flat to warn the resident of the fire, and therefore by the time she woke up, the smoke was too heavy for her to find her way out. If the alarm hadn’t been raised by neighbours and our police colleagues, the outcome for the resident could have been even more serious. Ensuring smoke alarms are working I would urge everyone to check that they have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes"“The police officers really should be recognized for the amount of effort that they put into trying to reach the occupant in the circumstances they were faced with.” He added: “I would urge everyone to check that they have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes to ensure they will alert you in the event of a fire, and if you haven’t got any fitted, please do it today – it could just save your life.” The cause of the fire, which is believed to have been caused by a cigarette, is being treated as accidental.
Firefighters are issuing a warning about the dangers of leaving electronic gadgets on charge after a fire broke out at a house in Dover, UK on 1 May 2018. Crews were called to the two-story property in Coombe Valley Road just after 9pm after a family discovered smoke coming from the first floor of their home. Breathing apparatus Three fire engines attended and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus located the fire on the first floor Three fire engines attended and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus located the fire in the first floor front bedroom. Firefighters used a hose reel to extinguish the blaze and contain the fire damage to a small area of the bedroom, however the first floor of the house was severely smoked-logged. Fortunately, the family - a couple with two children – escaped unharmed, however firefighters have warned that the situation could have been far more serious if the incident had happened while the family was asleep. Electronic gadgets fire safety Dover crew manager Adrian Hawkins said, “The fire is believed to have started in an electronic cigarette charger that had overheated, causing it to explode and set fire to a computer and desk. Due to the plastic and electronics involved in the fire, the smoke was particularly acrid and highly toxic. It appears that there were no working smoke alarms to alert the family to the fire, so if the fire had happened during the night, they may not have realized until much later, with serious consequences." “We are advising residents to unplug any chargers as soon as their devices have charged up, and to never leave them charging overnight, or while they are out. Please also ensure you have smoke alarms fitted on all floors of your property and that you test them weekly to ensure they will provide early warning in the unfortunate event of a fire.” Victim support unit The British Red Cross victim support unit attended to offer support to the family, who had to find alternative accommodation overnight. Crew will be returning to the area to offer fire safety advice to residents following this incident.