Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Woman rescued from cigarette fire

Sofa in Whitstable fire
The sofa caught fire at the house in Station Road, Whitstable

A woman is recovering in hospital after being rescued by Kent firefighters from a blaze caused by a cigarette.

Neighbours alerted emergency services after spotting smoke coming from the terraced home of Edwina Nixon, 45, in Station Road, Whitstable.

Ms Nixon's partner Steve Stubbs arrived just before firefighters and was able to rescue their dog, but smoke prevented him getting back in.

She was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics.

The dog called Joe, which was found unconscious, was revived with oxygen therapy after the rescue on Monday evening.

Fell asleep smoking

"The fire crews had Edwina out within seconds," said Mr Stubbs.

"I know Edwina and Joe could have died if it hadn't been for them."

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service said the fire started when Ms Nixon fell asleep while smoking, setting fire to the sofa.

"This sends out a really important warning to others about the dangers of smoking and not disposing of cigarettes carefully," said Whitstable watch manager David Nolan.

"If it hadn't been for the neighbour, we could easily have been dealing with a fatality."

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