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Kent Fire and Rescue Service extinguish late night fire at ground floor flat in Montacute Gardens, Tunbridge Wells

A Tunbridge Wells woman had a ‘lucky escape’ after a kitchen fire broke out in her home on Friday.

The blaze broke out at a ground floor flat in Montacute Gardens and, according to Kent Fire and Rescue Service, damaged 25 per cent of the kitchen after the flames spread to nearby cupboards on the wall.

Investigators say the resident was heating some oil in a chip pan on the hob but forgot about it.

Other parts of the flat were also damaged by smoke, which needed a special fan to be cleared properly.

Two Fire engines arrived at the property at 11.20pm and it took close to 20 minutes to put the blaze out.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Stock image
Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Stock image

Tunbridge Wells crew manager Matt Crush said: “The woman had tried unsuccessfully to smother the fire using tea towels but my advice would be, don’t take risks, if a fire has started, get out of your home, close the doors as you leave and call the fire service for help.

“Unfortunately, the smoke alarms in the property didn’t activate because the batteries had been removed, something I would strongly urge against.

“A smoke alarm really could save your life by giving you those precious few minutes of warning allowing you to get out safely but only if they are working and maintained correctly.”

Fire fighters left the scene shortly before midnight.

Before leaving crews gave safety advice to the occupant and residents in neighbouring flats.

In order to avoid an incident like this happening to you always stand by your pan. If you leave your room, turn the heat off.

Never throw water on a chip pan fire, instead turn the heat off if it is safe to do so and cover it with a lid.

Never fill a pan more than one-third full of oil and fit smoke alarms on every floor of your home.

If smoke alarms are fitted, check the batteries regularly.

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