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Hot ash warning after bedroom fire in Tonbridge


All it takes is a stray fire spark to ignite flammable material – and you have an out-of-control fire.

That’s what happened at a home in Farm Lane, Tonbridge, at 3.30pm on July 27.

Three fire engines raced to the scene and found a third-floor bedroom on fire. Brave firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, doused the flames using hose reel jets. A high pressure fan was also used to clear out the smoke.

Fortunately no one was hurt and the fire is believed to have been an accident. The cause? ‘Hot smoking material embers near an open window blew onto bedding’, according to Kent Fire & Rescue Service.

If you’re a smoker, make sure any cigarettes, ash or any other smoking material is completely cooled down before disposal. Material should only be discarded once it is fully extinguished and cold – and this is the official advice by firemen.

There can also be a problem with woodburners too if ash is discarded without being properly cooled down. All it takes is a little spark to cause a blaze. Isn’t that how the Great Fire of London started?

Hot ash must only be discarded once cool BUT even then you can’t guarantee that the material is not flammable.

Here’s some advice previously given in a blog by James the Sweep. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded again!

– After the fire, leave enough time for the ash to cool down (we’re talking 100 per cent cold).

– That can take a while. Leave enough time for the process! Don’t slumber the fire overnight either, it is highly dangerous and costs you more money

– Always keep the door of the woodburner closed for the ash to cool down.

– Make sure you use safe gear such as a metal bucket and safety gloves to remove cooled down embers – just to be on the safe side!

– Never rush when removing cold ash. Otherwise you could find a cloud h puffing up in the atmosphere inside your home!

– Put the cold fire ash outside in an area containing no flammable material whatsoever – just to be safe.

– Discard ALL the ash. Don’t let it build up inside a bucket in your home after each fire. That’s a potential hazard.

– Lastly, remember to have your chimney and fireplace set-up regularly inspected and swept by James the Sweep. Phone him now on 07587 134589 to book an appointment.