A toddler and a baby were rescued by fire crews through the first floor window from a house fire on Sissons Lane, Middleton around midnight last night (27 January 2015).
Two fire engines, one from Hunslet and one from Rothwell attended the blaze which started after an unattended chip pan overheated and caught fire. Fire fighters using breathing apparatus entered the house and help a female, believed to be the children’s mother, to safety after she passed the children through the first floor window. All the occupants were traken to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check-up.
The house had two smoke detectors. One activated and alerted the woman, the other had been disconnected.
This was one of three chip pan fires that West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service attended in Leeds yesterday. WYFRS is reminding the public to be vigilant when using chip pans.
Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said:
“It is a great concern to us that we have seen three chip pan fires in such a short space of time. Chip pans can be very dangerous as obviously the oil can reach incredibly high temperatures and if that ignites you can have a very serious fire on your hands.
“We advise that people use other methods of cooking – such as oven chips which may also be healthier!
“However, if you still decide to use a chip pan, never fill it more than a third full and use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer. As ever, never leave cooking unattended, even for a moment.”
WYFRS have issued the following advice:
If you do decide to fry your chips:
- Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
- Use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer (it’ll help make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot).
- Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
- Check that it doesn’t overheat – hot oil can catch fire easily.
- If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
In the event of a fire:
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- Have an escape route in place.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
General cooking safety:
- Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
- Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat to avoid risk.
- Don’t be distracted by a knock at the door or phone call.
- Don’t place items, for example wooden chopping boards, on a hob even when it’s off.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it monthly.