Woman was overcome by smoke
Fire crews are issuing a warning after a woman was overcome by smoke at a blaze in a Maidstone flat.
The incident took place in Highland Road, in the early hours of this morning.
It is thought the woman had been preparing a late night snack but fell asleep before the food was cooked, leading to the oven catching fire, filling the flat with smoke.
It appears that the smoke alarm in the flat had been deactivated, with a plastic bag over the sensor. Neighbours raised the alarm when they saw smoke coming from the property.
Incident commander watch manager Roy Ingram said: “The lady we rescued was incredibly lucky to have not suffered worse than breathing in potentially lethal fire smoke - it is a hugely important example of why smoke alarms should always be fitted in every home.
“Smoke alarms are designed to give an early warning of fire, providing enough time for escape. Obviously, they can’t do this properly if they are damaged, covered up or have had batteries removed. We recommend testing your smoke alarm once a week, and cleaning it carefully once a month.
“Just three breaths of fire smoke can knock out a healthy adult, and the effects are much worse for anyone with less lung capacity, including young children or the elderly.”