A fire which has left a first floor flat off School Lane in Stafford uninhabitable was caused by a chip pan being left unattended.
"The important message here is to look when you cook – never leave cooking unattended, stay in the kitchen until you’re finished."
Station Manager, Ian Housley
Crews from Stafford, Rising Brook, Gnosall and Penkridge were alerted to the fire at around 3.50pm yesterday afternoon by the occupant of the flat.
The man had turned on the chip pan and began cooking but then went to answer the phone in another room. He was alerted to the fire by his smoke alarms however instead of immediately evacuating he did try to tackle the fire himself before leaving the flat.
Station Manager, Ian Housley said: "The man tried to tackle the chip pan fire himself which resulted in him receiving a minor burn and suffering smoke inhalation. We strongly urge people never to tackle fires themselves, instead close the door if possible then get out and stay out."
The fire has severely damaged the flat and the residents of the surrounding flats were also evacuated whilst firefighters dealt with the fire.
Ian added: "The community spirit was evident yesterday; the man had already checked no one was still inside the flats on his floor then he and other occupants provided firefighters with vital information regarding other residents. That meant we were able to quickly establish that no one was in danger of becoming trapped inside.
"The important message here is to look when you cook – never leave cooking unattended, stay in the kitchen until you’re finished. We would also encourage the use of deep fat fryers instead of chip pans as these are thermostatically controlled meaning they do not overheat like a chip pan quite easily can."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service re-launched its annual cooking safety campaign earlier in the year. The campaign was created after shocking statistics reveal that over half of all house fires start in the kitchen.