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Canterbury residents urged to be careful while cooking

Pan fire on stove
Canterbury firefighters are urging residents to 'watch what they heat' after a fire
Canterbury firefighters are urging residents to 'watch what they heat' after a fire, which was caused by unattended cooking, left student accommodation damaged.

Two fire crews were sent to Heaton Road, Canterbury just after 9.30 on 26 November after control room operators received a distressed emergency call from the residents.

Once at the scene, firefighters in breathing apparatus made their way into the heavily smoke-logged building, extinguishing the fire shortly afterwards.

Watch Manager Matt Deadman, who attended the incident, said: "Fortunately the students were alerted to the fire by the smoke alarms sounding. On discovering the fire, the residents closed all the doors to stop the fire from spreading, got out of the property and dialed 999.

"After we tackled the fire it was clear what had happened; the food the students were cooking had been left unattended and - coupled with a dirty, grease, pan grill - it quickly caught light, destroying the cooker and causing significant damage to the kitchen worktops."

All of the students escaped the fire unharmed.

Matt concluded: "Although this incident is relatively small, it could have easily led to injury or serious 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.

Once at the scene, firefighters in breathing apparatus made their way into the heavily smoke-logged building, extinguishing the fire shortly afterwards

"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 our safety tips you can keep you and your family safe from fires in the kitchen. "

  • Don't leave pans unattended. Take them 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.

Firefighters are visiting the local area to offer fire safety advice and free home safety visits, during which, if necessary, smoke alarms will be fitted free of charge. To take advantage of this service call Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free on 0800 923 7000.

Alternatively, for more advice on how to keep you and your loved ones safe from fire, including how to regularly test and maintain your smoke alarms, log onto www.kent.fire-uk.org.

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