Kitchen fire caused by laundry
Fire engines racing to a kitchen blaze drove right past the home owner who, oblivious to the situation unfolding, was on his way to pick up his daughter from school.
Birkenhead fire fighters arrived at the home on Lysander Cr in Beach Haven just after 3pm on yesterday.
Station officer John Ellington says the kitchen was ablaze and smoke was billowing throughout the rest of the house.
Neighbours alerted the fire service when they heard the household burglar alarm sounding.
"The guy had put a basket of laundry on the cooktop, it wasn't hot or anything, but in doing so he knocked one of the switches on.
"He then left to pick up his daughter from school and arrived back to find his house on fire," Mr Ellington says.
Damage to the kitchen was limited to the stovetop, cabinetry and the rangehood, he says and minor smoke damage to the other rooms.
"Don't put anything on cooktops, whether they're on or off, because they can stay hot for a long time. Or like in this case turn on accidentally.
"And make sure you have working smoke alarms."
In this instance neighbours would not have heard a smoke alarm, Mr Ellington says.
So it is worthwhile connecting your burglar alarm to your smoke alarms where possible.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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