University of Kent students in Canterbury evacuated from halls after kitchen fire
Twenty students were evacuated from their bedrooms yesterday evening after a kitchen fire was sparked by burning food.
Two crews from Canterbury fire station attended Tyler Court halls of residence on the University of Kent campus at 6.10pm.
Students called 999 after trying to fight the flames in the kitchen and managed to extinguish them using a fire blanket.
But a tea towel used to try and douse the flames was left burning at the back of the oven.
Firefighter Kevin McAlden said: "The students had started cooking, gone away and returned to find their food burning quite nicely.
"They did the right thing by using a fire blanket but they called us because a burning cloth had dropped down the back of the oven.
"They initially tried to use a tea towel. Our advice for everyone is not to leave cooking unattended.
"When we got there the flames were extinguished but the tea towel was still alight and close to a gas pipe.
"Without our intervention it could have been much worse."
Mr McAlden said students returned to their bedrooms after 20 minutes and the kitchen suffered light smoke damage.
He said the food which caught fire was unrecognisable.
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