Published: 14:24, 04 August 2017
A resident has their neighbours to thank for raising the alarm when fire broke out in their flat.
Crews were called to Fulwich Road, Dartford, at 10.30am today after neighbours smelt smoke coming from the first floor flat.
Firefighters found a blaze in the kitchen, which had started on the cooker and spread to a kitchen unit.
It is believed that the occupant had been boiling a pan of water containing baby feeding equipment on the hob, and had forgotten to switch it off before going out.
The water boiled dry, setting the contents alight.
The fire was contained to the kitchen, causing damage to the top of the cooker and part of the worktop. The rest of the flat was smoke logged.
Dartford watch manager John Allright said: “It is fortunate that the neighbours were in when the fire started and noticed the smoke when they did. Without them raising the alarm this fire would have been much more serious.
“Although there was a smoke alarm in the property, the batteries appear to have been removed by the occupant, because of previous occasions where cooking fumes had set it off.”
The crew gave safety advice and fitted new smoke alarms, repositioning one of them further away from the kitchen to avoid cooking fumes setting it off.
Watch manager Allright added: “If your smoke alarm keeps going off due to cooking fumes, it may be tempting to deactivate it, however we would strongly advise against doing this as it won’t alert you in the event of an actual fire.
“It is much safer to relocate it, as we did today, or to consider replacing it with a heat detecting alarm.”
If you would like safety advice, contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) on 0800 923 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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