Two pets have been killed and one injured, in a kitchen fire in Brook Street, Colchester yesterday (Saturday 3 February).
At 8.15pm, firefighters were alerted to the fire by neighbours who heard the smoke alarm sounding in the adjacent terraced house. Soon after, their own smoke alarms sounded as smoke spread to their property.
When firefighters arrived they immediately entered the smoke filled house and found the fire in the kitchen. Two fire crews managed to quickly extinguish the fire and stop it spreading to the rest of the house.
While inside the property firefighters found a dog and two cats. Sadly, the dog and one cat died at the scene, but one cat was successfully revived by firefighters using oxygen therapy and was left in the care of a local vet.
The fire was found to have started on the hob which had been turned on accidentally. Items on top of the hob caught alight and the fire spread around the kitchen.
The kitchen has been badly damaged and there is smoke damage throughout the rest of the property.
Watch Manager Ian Ryder, Colchester Fire Station, said:
“Incidents like this show how important smoke alarms are and we want to encourage everyone to check their smoke alarms are in good working order. This fire could have been a lot worse if the neighbours were not alerted to the fire by the smoke alarms.
“We can fit smoke alarms completely free of charge to anyone living in Essex so book a home visit with us now. You can book online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book or call us on 0300 303 0088.
“This incident also shows how easily a hob can be turned on accidentally, especially electric hobs. The best thing to do is to turn it off at wall when you’re not using it to avoid this happening. More fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the home and most can be easily avoided by following our kitchen fire safety advice.”
The Fire Service offer this kitchen fire safety advice:
- Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone
- If you have to leave the kitchen to answer the door or send a text, turn off the cooker
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire.
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
- Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls
- Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire
- Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer – they can’t overheat
- Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated
Further advice can be found online at www.essex-fire.gov.uk