Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Woman rescued after kitchen fire

Greenwell Road, Witham
28/07/2021 @ 00:38
Incident Number: 149139
In attendance: 1 x Witham, 2 x Chelmsford

Firefighters have issued safety advice after a woman was rescued following a kitchen fire.

Crews from Witham and Chelmsford were called to Greenwell Road, Witham today at 12.38am.

A woman had left chips cooking on a tray on the hob while she was upstairs and it caught fire. 

Watch Manager Andy Mott said: "She tried to put it out with a dry tea towel but that caught fire too and it spread to the extractor hood and cooker.

"The ground floor quickly filled with smoke so she went upstairs and called 999. Crews rescued her through a first floor window and extinguished the fire.

"The incident shows the dangers of leaving cooking unattended, even for a short time, and especially when cooking with hot oil.

"Although there was a working smoke alarm on the first floor, there wasn't one on the ground floor, which would have acted as an early warning. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor.

"Thankfully the quick intervention and professionalism from crews prevented the incident from escalating."  

Crews extinguished the fire, which has been recorded as accidental, by 1.25am. They also administered first aid to the woman, who had breathed in smoke and suffered burns to one of her hands.

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 or a damp tea towel over it
  • Remember: if there is a fire in your home, get out, stay out and call 999 out. Don't try and tackle it yourself

Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Firefighters from Witham are on-call firefighters who live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station.

If you live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be paid to protect your community as an on-call firefighter. Find out more at

Have you got working smoke alarms?

We want every home in Essex to be provided with the excellent protection that smoke alarms offer. Smoke alarms can alert you, a neighbour or a passer-by to a fire and give you a chance to escape your home safely.

To arrange your FREE fitting, call 0300 303 0088 or visit

Site by Pingala Media