News release text
A woman was taken to hospital for treatment last night (2 July) after an unattended chip pan caused a fire in her Halling home.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s control room received a call shortly after 10pm to reports of a kitchen blaze at Scholey Close.
Two fire engines were sent to the scene and Strood Watch Manager Alan Brown explains what happened: “On our arrival, we found the front door was open with black smoke pouring out but fortunately all the residents were out of the building. Firefighters wore breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze which we believe was caused by an unattended chip pan.”
A woman in her 50s was taken to hospital to be checked over after suffering from smoke inhalation. Around 70 per cent of the kitchen was damaged by fire while half of the ground floor lounge and dining room were damaged by heat and smoke.
Alan Brown continues: “There was an alarm on the upstairs landing which had activated but the down stairs alarm had been disconnected. The woman was very lucky to get out without suffering major injuries and we urgently appeal to residents make sure they never leave cooking unattended and they have working smoke alarms on all floors of their home.”
Crews will be returning to the area to carry out some post incident work which involves advising residents of safety measures they can take to help protect themselves, their families and their homes from the potentially devastating affects of fire.
Key messages include:
Don’t leave cooking unattended. Turn off the heat if you leave the room. Remember, fire starts when your attention stops
Turn saucepan handles so that they don’t stick out from the hob
Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil. If the oil starts to smoke, do not begin cooking - remove from the heat and leave it to cool
Keep the oven, hob and grill clean - a build up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
If you are going out for a night out and may be drinking, try and pre-plan for your return home and take a snack from the fridge or cupboard instead of turning on the cooker for a hot meal.
Fit smoke alarms on every floor of your home, and test the batteries regularly
If there is a fire, get out, stay out and call the fire and rescue service.
Chip pan fires
If you choose to deep fat fry your chips, these all-year-round fire safety tips could help reduce the risk:
Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
Be careful that it doesn’t overheat - hot oil can catch fire easily.
Use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot
Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
In the event of a fire, have an escape route in place.
Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.