Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Cooking oil causes flat fire

Calelum Drive, Colchester
29/11/2017 @ 20:12
Incident Number: 67715
In attendance: 2 x Colchester, 2 , Clacton, 1 x Brightlingsea, 1 x Wivenhoe

Firefighters were called to a fire within a high-rise building.

ECFRS' high-rise procedures were immediately implemented; sending six fire engines for a confirmed fire. 

On arrival firefighters reported that the fire was in the kitchen and worked quickly to stop it spreading to other rooms.

The fire was extinguished by 9pm.

Watch Manager Stephen Smith said:

"The fire started after a pan of oil caught alight and spread to surrounding cupboards.

"Our crews worked quickly and effectively to stop the fire spreading beyond the kitchen. 

"Incidents like this highlight just how important it is to follow our kitchen and cooking safety guidelines." 

The kitchen was badly damaged by the fire and the flat is now uninhabitable.

The homeowner also suffered smoke inhalation and was left in the care of the Ambulance Service.

This incident came just hours after a chip pan caught alight in a ground floor flat in Thorpe Bay

ECFRS' cooking with oil advice:

  • Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
  • If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer.  They can’t overheat.
  • If your pan catches fire, turn off the heat if it is safe to do so.  Never throw water over it

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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