A NEWLY-hired chef was praised after his swift actions saved the oldest part of a hotel from a fire.

The blaze in a staff bedroom, caused by a Samsung tablet overheating while on charge next to the bed, was tackled quickly by Kellbank Hotel employee Mick Slater, who prevented the fire from doing any serious damage.

The heroic chef, who had only worked at the Gosforth hotel for 10 days when the fire broke out, said: “I was in the bar, and someone said there was fire coming from the staff accommodation, so I went to investigate.”

He continued: “There was smoke billowing out down the corridor, so I emptied an extinguisher over the fire as best as I could, then got out, shut the door, and sounded the alarm.”

“It was a baptism of fire,” he added, laughing.

Mick, with the help of fellow employee Mel Lloyd, ensured guests and staff were safe and out of the building.

Initial reports from the fire service suggested the tablet had been charging underneath the mattress, but it was later revealed this was not the case.

Although the tablet had been charging on a solid surface next to the bed, staff believe it fell on to the duvet and overheated, causing the fire. They are now urging people to be careful when charging their devices, and ensure they are stable.

“Everyone should keep their tablets and phones charging on a hard, solid surface, away from anything that could heat up and cause a fire,” Kellbank manager Joe Hart said.

“It could have been a lot worse if Mick hadn’t stepped in when he did – we could have lost the oldest part of the building.”

He added: “It was just a freak incident, and it’s such an eye-opener – it really pays to have a proper procedure and plan in place for when things like this happen.”

Nobody was injured in the blaze, despite the hotel being fully booked with around 48 guests, and the damage was “minimal, and mainly smoke-related” as the fire was contained to the bed, thanks to Mick’s actions.

Work on the smoke damage is currently underway at the hotel, and with no smoke or fire damage in any other areas of the business, the renovations will not affect the guests’ side of the building.

Edward Burrows, community safety manager from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, shared advice on charging electrical devices.

“The fire service recommends that users of laptops, mobiles and tablets should always charge them on a hard, flat surface like a table, and never on a bed, carpet, soft cushion or any other soft surface,” he said.

Edward also recommended that people check their smoke alarms to make sure they work, never block air vents on the back or sides of laptops, check laptop air vents to remove dust or debris, don’t use laptop power cords or extension cords that are damaged, and turn off devices when they aren’t being used.