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Mother and baby led to safety from Selbourne Road, Gillingham flat on Thursday night after a fire in the property below

By Clare Freeman

A mother and her four month old baby were led to safety from their Gillingham flat last night after a fire broke out in the property below.

Fire crews were called to the scene in Selbourne Road at 10:40pm. Two fire engines from Medway and Strood attended.

The fire is believed to have been started by a cigarette after the occupant in the ground floor flat was smoking in bed.

Kent Fire and Rescue warn people not to smoke in bed as it's easy to fall asleep and set the bed alight. Picture: Thinkstock Image Library.

Fortunately a neighbour living opposite heard the smoke alarm, saw smoke and phoned 999.

Medway Watch Manager, Jim Ramsden, said: “The fire was out when we arrived and neighbours had led the woman and her baby to safety via a smoke filled stairway."

The baby girl was given oxygen at the scene by paramedics.

Mr Ramsden said: "Just three breaths of fire smoke can be fatal, even for a young and healthy adult but babies, children and older people are most at risk if a fire breaks out in their home, as their bodies are even less able to cope.

He added: “There’s no doubt that having a working smoke alarm makes all the difference as the woman and her child might not have had such a lucky escape.

"Smokers also need to be aware of the risks of smoking in the home and how easily this can lead to fires.”

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