Kitchen blazes spark fire service warning

Fire chiefs are warning householders to take care while cooking after a spate kitchen fires over the last month.

Officers were called to North Shields on Saturday after a chip pan caught fire when oil overheated at a house in Widdrington Terrace.

And between May 12 and June 17 of this year, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has been called to 33 cooking-related fires which resulted in ten injuries.

Fire service group manager Keith Carruthers said: “Most house fires start in the kitchen, so it’s vital that we are extra vigilant when cooking.

“You should never leave a pan unattended and always ensure any flammable materials are placed out of reach of cookers, grills and other electrical items such as toasters.

“Be careful not to get distracted by young children or visitors and you should never be tempted to cook after drinking alcohol.”

He added: “I would urge everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted in their home and that they are tested weekly.

“There is no doubt a working smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death.”