Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is reminding people to keep fire safety in mind when cooking, after crews were called to a tower block in Ramsgate last night, (6 July).
The first pumps arrived on the scene within minutes of receiving the 999 call to find smoke coming through the balcony window. As the building was a high-rise, six fire engines from across Thanet and the surrounding area were sent to the flat in Newcastle Hill.
Two teams wearing breathing apparatus forced entry into the flat and discovered that the fire was already out, but the kitchen was smoke-logged.
Crew Manager, Richard Warne, said: "We believe that the oil in the pan had overheated and caught alight but the residents, a couple with a young child, had done exactly the right thing in turning off the heat, closing the kitchen door and leaving their 12th floor flat.
"Fortunately it was a small fire and thankfully no-one was hurt, but it’s a clear reminder of how easily fires can start. Cooking related fires account for over a quarter of all the fires we attend in people’s homes. So taking a few simple measures to make fire safety the main ingredient while cooking can make all the difference."
Help prevent a kitchen fire in your home by following these tips:
Keep an eye on your cooking and remember to switch off your cooker if you have to leave the room
Use a timer for items placed in your oven or grill to remind you when your food is done and to save it from burning
Plan and prepare - if you know you have a busy week ahead, try and plan in advance and prepare meals that do not require lots of cooking
Avoid storing or placing household items on your cooker or stove
Keep your cooker, grill and oven clean to avoid a build up of grease and fat that could start a fire
Keep children and pets well away from your cooking area
Ensure electric cookers, toasters and microwaves are turned off at the mains when you have finished using them
Fit a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home and test it weekly to ensure it provides early warning in the event of a fire
Richard ended: "If you’ve got to step away from a cooker, please take the pots and pans off the heat and make sure the grill and hob are switched off. It’s so easy to get diverted for longer than you intended but it can have devastating consequences."
The flat had heat and smoke damage and the family is believed to have stayed with friends overnight.
Keep you and your family safe with Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s latest cooking safety campaign.