CREWS were called to tackled a blaze sparked by an unattended chip pan.
Firefighters were called to a flat in Sulgrave, Washington, shortly after 12.30am yesterday.
People living at the property in Waterloo Walk tried to put out the fire themselves, before calling 999.
Eight firefighters from Washington station and four from Hebburn were called to put out the fire, which destroyed a nearby cup- board.
A positive pressure ventilation fan was used to clear smoke from the flat, which is part of four-storey building.
Two people who were in the property at the time of the fire managed to get out unhurt.