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KFRS issues 'watch what you heat' warnings after kitchen fire incident


Fire caused by unattended cooking

Most of the residents acted on hearing the mains smoke alarms and left the premises. Photo: Vicky Curtis, KFRS

Folkestone firefighters are urging residents to 'watch what they heat' after a fire, caused by unattended cooking, resulted in a man being rescued from a block of flats.

Three fire appliances were sent to the building in Marine Terrace, Folkestone just before 8.30 pm (18 February) after control room operators received emergency calls from a passer-by who had spotted smoke pouring from a second floor window.

Once at the scene, firefighters were informed that there were people trapped inside, so they made their way into the smoke-logged building in breathing apparatus.

Fire Safety Officer Iain Knox, who attended the incident, said: "Fortunately most of the residents acted on hearing the mains smoke alarms sounding and left the premises. However, breathing apparatus crews did find a man unconscious and trapped in a flat on the second floor. He was led to safety and given first aid treatment and oxygen for smoke inhalation.

"After the fire was tackled it was clear what had happened; the man, believed to be in his 30's, had been cooking and fell asleep, leaving the food unattended which subsequently caught light, wrecking the cooker and causing smoke damage to the flat."

After his rescue, the man was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Iain concluded: "Although this incident is relatively small, it could have easily led to more serious injury and damage to the property. It's easy to lose concentration while cooking, especially if it's late at night and you have been drinking. That's why we are urging people to always watch what you heat.

"Although this incident is relatively small, it could have easily led to more serious injury and damage to the property"


"It takes a very short space of time for a pan to overheat, or for a grill pan to set light to grease, fat or left over crumbs. Sadly, we often see people getting hurt as a result of these types of incidents which are all preventable. But by following the following safety tips you can keep you and your family safe from fires in the kitchen."

Safety tips

  • 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

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