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House in Montfort Close, Canterbury severely damaged by fire

By Anna MacSwan

Seven people fled as a house was ravaged by fire after a towel caught ablaze.

Fire crews were called to Montfort Close, Canterbury at about 5am when a young woman woke to the smell of smoke and screamed.

The noise woke her partner and five other occupants, who then managed to escape the burning building.

Montfort Close, Canterbury (7388844)
Montfort Close, Canterbury (7388844)

But the flames, believed to have been caused by a towel which was left on a clothes airer near to a storage heater, destroyed a ground floor bedroom.

The rest of the house was badly damaged by heat and smoke when the fire spread to the hallway and main front door.

Two fire engines were sent to the scene and wearing breathing apparatus, fire crews used a hose reel jet to bring the flames under control.

Fire crews were called to the scene (7388842)
Fire crews were called to the scene (7388842)

Crew manager Paul Moore said: "These young people were very fortunate, had they not reacted so quickly some of them could have found themselves trapped upstairs with their exit route blocked.

"Please always switch portable heaters off before you go to bed and ensure they are positioned at least a metre away from any combustible materials such as paper, curtains, furniture or clothes, and well away from anything which could knock them over."

The British Red Cross also provided practical support to the occupants.

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