Fire crews’ warning after Margate chip pan fire

Firefighters are warning residents about the dangers of using open chip pans after a kitchen fire in Margate.

The fire broke out at the house in Kent Road this lunchtime (February 22) after a resident started heating up a pan of oil to cook some chips.

It is believed the man, thought to be in this 20s, may have left the pan unattended for a short while, during which the oil overheated and caught fire.

When he returned to the kitchen and discovered the hob was fully alight, he left the house and called the emergency services.

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and extinguished the fire using a hose reel. The kitchen and the ground floor was heavily smoke-logged, so crews used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke.

Margate firefighter Grant Mynheer said: “As this incident highlights, a moments’ distraction can lead disaster. Chip pans can over heat very easily, so it is essential that they are not left on the hob unattended. We would advise residents to consider other methods to cook chips, either by using oven chips or a thermostatically-controlled fryer. If you do use a chip pan, please follow our safety tips to avoid a fire in your home.”

Grant added: “The resident was extremely lucky to escape injury, as there was no working smoke alarm in the property to alert him to the blaze, so it could have developed unnoticed for longer. We would like to remind all residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms on each floor of their homes.”

Firefighters remained on the scene to carry out a home safety visit with the occupants and fitted two free smoke alarms in the house. They also offered home fire safety advice to local residents.

For more home safety advice or to check to see if you’re eligible for a free Safe and Well Visit by KFRS, please call 0800 923 7000.