FIREFIGHTERS say a family had a lucky escape when their Christmas decorations caught alight.
Two crews called to a blaze in an end of terrace cottage in Lower Denmark Road, Ashford, just after 10.30pm on Thursday.
Using breathing apparatus, the firefighters discovered a small fire caused by faulty fairy lights that had been wound around a timber framed bookshelf.
Watch manager Mark Thomas said: “This family is very lucky to have escaped unhurt. Thankfully, the fire was discovered by the occupants, who called the fire and rescue service, before it had time to develop into a serious blaze.
"But it did cause quite substantial smoke damage to the ground floor of the building.
“The family did have a smoke alarm fitted in the property but the batteries had been taken out.
"Had the family been asleep, the fire could have easily gone undetected and developed into a serious blaze which may have resulted in someone losing their life.”
He added: “Extra fire hazards, such as fairy lights, are introduced to the home during the festive season, which is why we would like to remind everyone of the importance of having smoke alarms fitted on every level of their home.
“They provide vital early warning in the unfortunate event of a fire in the home and significantly reduce the risk of death or serious injury to its occupants.”