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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Warning after chip pan sparks fire in Hanley

18/02/2016

The Service is warning people of the risks involved in cooking with chip pans following a flat fire in Hanley.

"They catch fire rapidly and, when they do, they go up in flames very quickly leaving little time for people to become aware of the situation and to leave their home. This particular gentleman had working, hard-wired smoke alarms and was able to escape. The consequences could have been far more severe had that not been the case. We would urge people to test their smoke alarms on a regular basis so they can be confident that they will activate should a blaze break out."

Station Manager Mark Walchester

The blaze was sparked by an oil-filled pan which had been left unattended on a hob at the property on Dyke Street.

Luckily, the second floor flat had hard-wired smoke alarms which alerted the male occupant to the situation. He was able to leave the property and dial 999.

The resident was treated by paramedics at the scene after suffering mild smoke inhalation. Two cats in the flat were rescued, unharmed, by firefighters.

Crews from Hanley, Newcastle, Burslem and the Aerial Ladder Platform from Longton attended the incident.

They used one hose reel jet and wore breathing apparatus when tackling the blaze which was confined to the kitchen. The room sustained smoke damage.

Station Manager Mark Walchester, who led the incident, said: "Unfortunately we are still seeing a number of incidents involving chip pan fires in Stoke-on-Trent, which are putting lives at risk unnecessarily.

"They catch fire rapidly and, when they do, they go up in flames very quickly leaving little time for people to become aware of the situation and to leave their home. This particular gentleman had working, hard-wired smoke alarms and was able to escape. The consequences could have been far more severe had that not been the case. We would urge people to test their smoke alarms on a regular basis so they can be confident that they will activate should a blaze break out.

"Our advice is to never use chip pans and never to leave any pan unattended on a lit hob. It is far safer to use oven chips or a thermostat controlled deep fat fryer which will automatically switch itself off if it reaches a certain temperature. Making these simple changes could save your life and the lives of your family."

The first crew arrived at the incident at 3.34pm and the last left at 4.53pm. The fire has been classed as accidental.