Tunbridge Wells home hit by dishwasher blaze: Firefighters issue warning

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By kentsussex | Thursday, January 17, 2013, 13:22

Firefighters have issued an urgent warning over electrical appliances following two dishwasher fires - in Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells - in just 24 hours.

Sevenoaks fire crews praised the swift actions of a resident following a kitchen fire in Sundridge, yesterday morning (Wednesday, 16 January). 

The blaze, believed to have been caused by a fault in a dishwasher, was discovered by the homeowner at 4.13am. 

He immediately got his wife and children out of their home and called the fire service.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus went into the two-storey house in Chapmans Road and quickly extinguished a fire in the heavily smoke logged kitchen. 

A positive pressure ventilation fan was then used to clear the property of smoke.

Sevenoaks Watch Manager Neil Thornewell, who attended the incident, said: "By getting out, raising the alarm so quickly and closing the doors, the homeowner helped suppress the fire, limiting the damage to the kitchen area with minor smoke damage to the rest of the house.

"Had the homeowner not discovered the fire when he did, it could have been far more serious as the smoke alarm in the property wasn't working." 

Later the same evening, two fire engines from Tunbridge Wells were sent to Bowin Road, just before 11pm. 

Two pet Jack Russell dogs barking alerted the homeowner, who found her dishwasher alight. 

The woman called the fire service and put wet tea towels on the fire but quickly realised it was getting out of control, so left the two-storey property with her two grown up children.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze within five minutes. A thermal imaging camera was used to make sure there was no fire spread under the worktops.

Tunbridge Wells Watch Manager, Stephen Inglis, said: "Luckily no-one was hurt and the fire was contained to the dishwasher. 

"But my advice to homeowners is never try to tackle a fire yourself, get out, stay out and call the fire service out.

"As we've seen by these incidents, fires can break out in electrical appliances and power outlets with very little warning. 

"Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and never operate dishwashers, tumble dryers or washing machines while out of the property or overnight."

Crews visited neighbouring properties in the area giving fire safety advice.

For free fire safety advice call 0800 923 7000, email hsv@kent.fire-uk.org or visit the website at http://www.kent.fire-uk.org



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