A family in Sunderland escaped a potentially fatal house fire after an unattended chip pan caught alight.
Firecrews from Sunderland Central, Marley Park and North Moor were called to Plantation Road in Ford Estate just after midnight this morning.
The kitchen of the home was destroyed in the blaze, but a man, woman and seven-year-old managed to escape after being awoken by a smoke alarm.
It’s believed the man had come home and put the chip pan on while the woman and child were asleep upstairs. He’d become unwell and left the pan unattended.
It caught alight, setting off the smoke alarm which awoke the woman who got everyone to safety.
As spokesman from Sunderland Central said: “The consequences could have been a lot worse had there not been a working smoke alarm.
“We’d like to push the message out about how imperative it is to have a working smoke alarm. For a long time we’ve been urging people to replace chip pans with deep fat fryers, so we have less fires caused this way than we used to. But some people do still like to cook chips the old-fashioned way.
“We’d encourage people not to use chip pans at all, but if they’re going to, they should never leave them unattended.”
He added: “If anyone is worried about home safety, contact their local fire station who will come out to do a free home safety check and install a free smoke alarm.”