Firefighters have warned Kent residents to never store anything on kitchen hobs after a "lucky escape" for a Dartford family.

The Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to a home in Lagonda Way at 7.10pm yesterday after heavy smoke prompted concern in the kitchen.

A cardboard box, which was placed on the hob, accidentally turned it on.

The family extinguished the fire with water but called firefighters to help clear the smoke.

It "could have been prevented", firefighters say, and they have asked people to "think twice" before using a hob as a sensible place for storage.

Firefighters stressed that storing anything on a hob, especially electric ones, is dangerous because they can be knocked over and switched on with ease.

They offered the following advice:

  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order - a build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Double check the cooker is off when you've finished cooking.
  • Never use the hob or cooker as a storage area.