Nine-year-old girl escapes fire caused by fallen portable heater in Folkestone home
Kent Fire and Rescue Service engine
Fire tore through a Folkestone family home and gutted a child's bedroom last night.
It happened after a portable heater was accidentally knocked over and the nine-year-old girl escaped with her life, firefighters said.
Her father raised the alarm at about 9.20pm after the power tripped in the three bedroomed semi-detached house in Radnor Park Road and smelled smoke.
He rushed to her bedroom, where he discovered the carpet on fire, got the entire family out and called 999.
Two fire engines arrived between three minutes of the callout and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the well developed fire, using a hosereel jet.
Meanwhile a second crew cut away the ceiling to expose hidden voids and ensure that the fire did not spread.
Folkestone watch manager Andy Batchelor said: "This family had a very lucky escape. There was no working smoke alarm on the second floor where the fire started and the battery had been removed from the alarm on the first floor.
"The bedroom was filled with smoke, which can be potentially fatal. Just a couple more minutes and the girl would have been breathing it in, which is why it's fortunate that the father was alerted to the blaze before the fumes knocked her out."
Crews managed to put out the fire just before 10pm but spent another 30 minutes helping with salvage work.
The girl's bedroom, the bathroom and landing were all destroyed by flames and smoke.
Only one bedroom on the top floor remained relatively intact because its door had been closed.
Mr Batchelor added: "The risk of fire in the home is all year round. Don't let fire ruin your Christmas, put safety top of your list. Fit working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them regularly."