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Warning to pet owners after dog starts fire

Friday August 12th 2016

Firefighters are warning pet owners to keep animals away from flames and oven controls after a pooch caused a fire.

Beau, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is in the dog house after he started a blaze in a flat in Dartford.

The pup jumped up and knocked a dial, turning on an electric hob in a second-floor flat on Wednesday (August 10).

His owner had been moving items around the kitchen and had placed a microwave on the hob, which caught light, filling the flat with black smoke.

The fire service was alerted to the blaze but it was extinguished by an off-duty London firefighter who lived nearby, before two fire engines arrived.

The young woman was given oxygen and taken to hospital by ambulance, while Beau was also given oxygen through a specially-designed pet mask, which the fire service carries on most of its engines.

The masks are provided by not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws and funded by donations.

John Allwright, Dartford watch manager, said: "We're pleased that no one was seriously hurt but would always advise against storing items on top of cookers as accidents can easily happen but if you have no alternative, please switch appliances off at the wall beforehand.

"If you have pets try to keep them away from naked flames or cooker controls."

Copyright Press Association 2016