Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Chip pan fire

Colbert Avenue, Thorpe Bay
29/11/2017 @ 13:25
Incident Number: 67690
In attendance: 1 x Southend, 1 x Leigh

Crews were called to a kitchen fire in a ground floor flat this afternoon.

On arrival firefighters reported that the kitchen's extractor fan was alight.

Firefighters extinguished the fire by 1:55pm.

The cause has been recorded as accidental, and started after a chip pan caught alight and spread to the extractor fan. The pan had been left unattended after the homeowner fell asleep.

The kitchen has suffered fire and smoke damage.

Lee Hollingworth, Watch Manager at Southend Station, said:

"Incidents like this show how dangerous it can be to leave cooking unattended.

"Three quarters of house fires in Essex start in the kitchen and distraction while cooking is a major cause of house fires throughout the county.

"Never leave your cooking unattended and always follow our safety tips to stay as safe as possible in the kitchen.

"There was also a delay in the fire being reported as the smoke alarm in the flat had a dead battery. The best way to stay safe in the home is to fit and regularly test smoke alarms. If you're in any doubt contact us to arrange a Home Safety Visit."

ECFRS' top cooking safety tips are:

• Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone.
• Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing - it can easily catch fire.
• Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
• Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
• Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
• Take care when cooking with hot oil - it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can’t overheat.
• Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated.

If you would like to arrange for a free home safety visit, during which smoke alarms will be fitted free of charge, then call us on 0300 303 0088 or visit

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