Neighbours stop Dartford flat from burning down after smelling smoke

PUBLISHED: 14:40 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:40 04 August 2017




Fire broke out in Fulwich Road on on Friday morning

Dartford residents thought to have left baby bottles boiling on their kitchen hob have had their flat saved by a keen-nosed neighbour.

Fire crews were called to Fulwich Road at 10.30am on Friday, after neighbours smelt smoke coming from the first floor flat.

On arrival, firefighters discovered a blaze had spread around the apartment’s kitchen from the cooker.

A spokesperson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “It is believed that the occupant had been boiling a pan of water containing baby feeding equipment on the hob, and had forgotten to switch it off before going out.

“The water boiled dry, setting the contents alight, which caused the fire.”

The top of the cooker and part of the kitchen worktop was damaged in the blaze, which also filled the flat with smoke.

Dartford watch manager John Allright said: “It is fortunate that the neighbours were in when the fire started and noticed the smoke when they did. Without them raising the alarm this fire would have been much more serious.

“Although there was a smoke alarm in the property, the batteries appear to have been removed by the occupant, because of previous occasions where cooking fumes had set it off.”

The crew gave safety advice and fitted new smoke alarms, repositioning one of them further away from the kitchen to avoid it being activated by cooking fumes.

Watch manager Allright added: “If your smoke alarm keeps going off due to cooking fumes, it may be tempting to deactivate it, however we would strongly advise against doing this as it won’t alert you in the event of an actual fire. It is much safer to relocate it, as we did today, or to consider replacing it with a heat detecting alarm.”

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