Cats die in Ashford house fire on Christmas Day
A blaze that claimed the lives of
four cats and left a dog unconscious is thought to have been caused
by a mobile phone charger left plugged in.
Firefighters were unable to save the pets, who were killed by smoke
from a blaze at an Ashford house (pictured left) on
Christmas Day morning.
Neighbours phoned 999 after hearing
the alarm and spotting smoke billowing from the two-storey terraced
house in Kingsnorth Road at about 11.40am.
The fire spread to kitchen
cupboards and the whole house suffered smoke
The homeowners were out at the time, but a dog and four cats were
in the building.
Around 10 firefighters, from Ashford and Charing stations, worked
for half-an-hour to bring the blaze under control.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus found the cats had already
died from breathing in smoke.
An unconscious light brown Labrador dog was found near the
Crews gave the dog oxygen therapy
using an improvised mask made out of a lemonade bottle
- before carrying her out of the house to safety, where she
The dog was taken to a vet by an RSPCA inspector for
Crew manager Tim Hanley, from Ashford fire station, said: "We
arrived within minutes of receiving the 999 call to find the house
full of thick, black smoke.
"It only takes three breaths of
smoke to knock you unconscious and it's usually the smoke rather
than the flames that kill people.
"That's why it's vital to have working smoke alarms, they provide
the early warning needed in the event of fire in your home.
"Phone chargers and other electrical appliances can get hot very
quickly. Always turn them off when not in use and keep them free of
household clutter to avoid overheating when they are switched
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