Fire crews warn over fire risk during cold weather snap

Three fires in Kent over the weekend were started by people trying to keep warm during the cold weather, fire crews have said.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service urged people to take precautions as freezing temperatures continue.

On Friday, a woman in her 90s from Sheerness placed a leaking hot water bottle on top of an electric blanket.

The woman had to be rescued after the blankets fused causing her mattress to set alight.

'Extra risk'

The next day, fire crews rescued a man and a woman from their home in Station Road, Lydd, after a fire broke out just before 2000 BST.

A spokesman said a pile of wood stored next to a stove caught light.

In the third incident, on Sunday, an elderly woman was rescued from her flat in Beach Avenue, Birchington, after a wheat bag heating in a microwave oven caught light.

Steve Griffiths, the director for community safety, said: "With the earliest onset of cold weather in almost 20 years, we've seen many people, in particular elderly residents, turning to additional heat sources.

"But as well as bringing extra heat they also bring extra risk as seen by these incidents."

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