Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Unattended chip pan causes flat fire

Limes Avenue, Chigwell
05/02/2020 @ 00:21
Incident Number: 117373
In attendance: 1 x Loughton, 1 x Hainault


Crews were called to a second floor flat in the early hours of this morning after a chip pan caught fire. 

When crews arrived they quickly removed the pan from the hob, checked the area was safe and cleared the property of smoke. 

Watch Manager Marc Lemon, Loughton Fire Station, said:

"The pan had overheated as it had been left on the hob unattended with oil inside. 

"When the occupant realised the pan had caught alight he attempted to extinguish it with water, which is probably the most dangerous thing you can do in this situation. 

"As expected, the oil and water mixed to create a fire ball, which immediately spread and blackened the whole kitchen.

"Our advice is never to leave a pan of oil unattended, and if your pan does catch fire just turn off the heat if it is safe to do so."

"Thankfully the occupant was lucky and did not suffer any injuries."

With over half of house fires starting in the kitchen, always follow our safety advice when cooking with oil:

  • 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.

Not got working smoke alarms in your home? We'll fit them for free!

We want every home in Essex to be protected by smoke alarms - so if you don't have them in your property, we'll come and visit you and fit them free of charge.

Simply call 0300 303 0088 or head to essex-fire.gov.uk/book to arrange your visit.

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