Soup-er birthday visit for Albert
Dartford firefighters helped a man celebrate his 99th birthday when they arrived at his Tudor Close home to fit smoke alarms.
The plea for help came from the man’s neighbour John Rank, who received a call from 99-year-old Albert Bennett, after a pan of soup boiled dry while he was warming it, filling his kitchen with smoke.
Mr Bennett, a second World War veteran who needs a walking stick to get about and has difficulty seeing, regaled crews with old war stories from his time as a fitter in the RAF, while they performed a home fire safety check and fitted two smoke detectors.
Dartford crew manager Gary Miller said: “The oldest members of our community are most at risk of dying in a house fire and we’re very grateful to people like John who look out for elderly friends, neighbours and relatives and contact us.
“Working smoke alarms are a vital protection from the dangers of fire in the home. They provide the early warning and precious time which can save lives and prevent injury.”
Mr Rank said: “It made Albert’s day, even more so because it was his 99th birthday. The firefighters were all very good with him and the neighbours all came out to see him in the fire engine.
"I would certainly recommend other people contact the fire service to see what help there is available for them.”
If you know someone you feel may be vulnerable, talk to them about having a free home safety visit in their home from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
The visit takes about 30 minutes and offers free safety advice and if needed, free smoke alarms will be fitted. Special alarms are available in case you have sight or hearing problems.
Contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 9237000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or look on their website www.kent.fire-uk.org for more information.
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