by Neill Barston
A home owner has described the moment his hair caught fire as he discovered a major blaze in an upstairs bedroom.
Firefighters battled the flames at the property in Sonora Way, Sittingbourne, after being called to the scene at 1.20pm on Monday.
The owner of the property, who didn’t smell any smoke, had heard what he thought was someone upstairs and went to investigate.
But when he opened the door to the room, he was stunned to see it fully alight with flames from the floor to the ceiling.
As he looked on in horror, he saw a reflection of himself in a mirror in the room and noticed his hair was on fire.
Three fire crews, from Sittingbourne, Sheppey and Medway, used breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to tackle the blaze, which they managed to put out by about 2pm. They left the scene by 3.30pm.
The first-floor bedroom and an en-suite bathroom were destroyed with the rest of the upstairs damaged by heat and smoke and the ground floor also suffering smoke damage.
The man was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital suffering from burns to his head and smoke inhalation. His wife and child were not at home at the time of the fire.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known but is not being treated as suspicious.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “The fire services believe it was a printer upstairs that caught fire.
“I was taken to hospital and I’m alright now, but it has been giving me nightmares.
“I just want to say ‘thanks’ to the fire brigade and all my neighbours who helped me on the day and the days since.
“They have all been brilliant, including one of my neighbours over the road who gave me medical assistance.”
The owner’s neighbour, who also did not wish to be named, said: “It was my wife who saw the smoke first – she thought it was a car on fire but we realised that it was coming from the house over the road.
“I am an ambulance technician so I was able to help my neighbour and was one of the ambulance team who helped give him oxygen. "
Mark Innes, watch manager at Sittingbourne fire station, said: “The man had opened the door to where the fire and it flew at him. He had taken quite a bit of smoke as well.
“The fire was coming out of the first floor windows but we managed to contain it in the room it started in."