Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued an urgent safety warning following six kitchen fires in North Staffordshire in the space of just 48 hours.
Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening firefighters attended half a dozen incidents across the county including one where two pet Rottweiler’s had accidentally turned a cooker on.
"Over half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents and are often due to cooking being left unattended. "
Moorlands Station Manager, Mick Daniels
"If a fire does occur in your kitchen never try and tackle it yourself. Instead turn the power off, if it is safe to do so, get out, closing the doors as you leave, and then call 999.
"Also ensure you have working smoke alarms on each floor of your home. To request a free home fire risk check, which includes the fitting of free smoke alarms with a ten year battery, call FREEPHONE 0800 0241 999."
Events began on Saturday afternoon at a property on Austwick Grove, Trent Vale when a woman mistakenly turned her grill pan on thinking it was the cooker ring. A short while later the grill pan caught fire, triggering the smoke alarm. The woman received first aid treatment but was otherwise not hurt and the kitchen suffered minor smoke damage.
Not long after an almost identical incident took place at a house in Wallis Street, Fenton. The female occupier accidentally turned the grill pan on instead of the cooker ring and attempted to quell the resulting fire with a towel, making it worse. The kitchen suffered moderate smoke damage while the woman and two young children were also treated at the scene with first aid and oxygen therapy for the effects of smoke inhalation.
Early on Saturday evening at a house in Watkin Street, Fenton, crews attended a blaze which started when two Rottweiler’s, alone in the house, accidentally turned a cooker ring on. Firefighters found the top of the cooker to be damaged and there was minor smoke damage in the kitchen. Following this incident firefighters took the opportunity to drop safety advice leaflets through the letterboxes of homes on adjoining streets and roads.
"Smoke can aggravate underlying illnesses like asthma and emphysema." added Mr Daniels.
"People must make sure anyone who is capable of turning on appliances, be they pets or children, are not left alone unsupervised in the kitchen area."
On Sunday afternoon two appliances were sent to an address in Victoria Court, Fenton to deal with a fire in one unit of a sheltered housing complex. The occupier had left chops cooking unattended which started a fire in the cooker’s grill pan. The incident also caused slight smoke damage to the rest of the flat.
The alarm, on triggering, had also caused another 95-year-old resident to stumble and fall. An ambulance was called and the resident received treatment for shock at the scene.
A short time later, food left unattended in an oven started a fire at a property in Foley Road, Longton. The male occupant was treated for smoke inhalation and given oxygen therapy. Crews also spent 20 minutes ventilating the property before the owner was allowed to go back in.
And just before 7pm crews attended a chip pan fire at a house in Lilac Close, Chesterton. The female occupier had put chips on the cooker but then gave chase when her young puppy ran out of the property. On returning she found the pan on fire and she was given oxygen therapy by firefighters on their arrival, due to smoke inhalation. The chip pan was completely damaged while the kitchen suffered moderate heat and smoke damage.