Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Flats evacuated after smoke caused by unclean oven

High Street, Wickford
08/02/2020 @ 13:08
Incident Number: 117578
In attendance: 1 x Orsett, 1 x Basildon, 1 x Rayleigh Weir

Firefighters have urged people to ensure their ovens are clean after several flats were evacuated in Wickford following a build-up of smoke, caused by an unclean cooker.

Crews were called to the two-storey block of flats on Saturday afternoon after a smoke alarm had alerted two people to the fumes, which were caused after they left cooking unattended.

Fortunately, the large amount of smoke did not develop into a fire beyond the oven. Firefighters used positive pressure ventilation fans to clear the smoke by 1.42pm.

The officer in charge at Orsett Fire Station said: "This incident is a classic example of how an unclean oven can easily lead to a fire. In this case, a build-up of oils at the bottom of the cooker created a lot of smoke - luckily occupants had a working smoke alarm which alerted them to the danger.

"Most of us don't enjoy doing it but ask yourself: when was the last time I cleaned my oven? You'd be surprised how easily old cooking oil and grease can ignite, so please don't run the risk of using a dirty cooker."

Firefighters ensured the property and communal areas of the building escaped smoke damage.


Follow our cooking safety advice

Click here for tips on staying safe while cooking.


Not got working smoke alarms in your home?

We want every home in Essex to benefit from the excellent protection that working smoke alarms provide - in this case, they alerted the occupants to the danger of the smoke and gave them a chance to get out safely before the incident became more serious.

If you don't have working smoke alarms, we'll come and fit them for free. Simply visit to arrange your visit.

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