Warning after Sunderland firefighters tackle two chip pan blazes in a week

The damaged kitchen of a property in Allendale Road, after a chip pan fire.
The damaged kitchen of a property in Allendale Road, after a chip pan fire.
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Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of chip pans after two similar fires occurred in Sunderland in less than a week.

The first blaze took place in Redhill in the early hours of Saturday, May 28.

Three fire engines from Marley Park, Sunderland Central and Washington attended the incident, after being alerted at 5.36am.

The fire was caused by a chip pan, which had been left unattended by the occupiers, who were under the influence of alcohol.

Nobody was hurt during the incident and the chip pan has since been disposed of.

On Friday, 3, two crews from Farringdon Community Fire Station were called to a house in Allendale Road at 8.11pm.

Patricia Kennedy, 78, had cooked some chips and went to watch television, believing she had turned the pan off.

When Mrs Kennedy went to investigate a noise which she thought was a gate banging, she opened her kitchen door and discovered the chip pan on fire.

She immediately rang 999 and left the house.

Firefighters administered oxygen therapy but Mrs Kennedy did not require further treatment.

Mrs Kennedy praised the quick response of the firefighters and thanked them for their help and kindness. She has since been referred to Sunderland Council’s Telecare service to have monitored smoke alarms fitted.

Watch Manager Nicole Mordecai,said: "Most house fires occur in the kitchen, and cooking is one of the biggest causes of kitchen fires. Leaving a chip pan unattended for just a short time can lead to disastrous results, as the oil can soon overheat and catch fire.

“Our advice would be to simply switch from a chip pan to oven chips or a temperature controlled deep fat fryer to help prevent fires from occurring. If you do retain your chip pan remember electric hobs stay hot for a while after they are turned off, so chip pans should be removed from the heat when they are not being used.”

She added: "In the event of a fire, always get out, call the fire and rescue service and stay out. Do not try to put a fire out yourself.

"I also urge everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted on all levels of their home and that they are tested weekly. There is no doubt that having a working smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death, giving you the vital minutes to escape."

For further advice on cooking safely visit www.twfire.gov.uk/cookingsafety, www.facebook.com/twfrs or www.twitter.com/tyne_wear_frs