Family say ‘ban the pan’ after chip fire at Rugby home

The fire damaged kitchen
The fire damaged kitchen

A family who escaped a chip pan fire in their home have praised the firefighters who came to help them.

The Mercier family from Manor Estate, Rugby, made the 999 call at 11.33pm on Tuesday February 10, after a chip pan fire broke out in their home.

While the crews were on their way, the residents tackled the fire using a bucket of water.

Despite the family’s best efforts, the kitchen was severely fire damaged and there was smoke damage throughout the property, which meant they had to leave their home for the night until the property had been ventilated.

Although the fire was out on arrival, firefighters still had to enter the property to ensure the fire was completely out. Two adults and six children had suffered mild smoke inhalation.

Firefighters administered oxygen therapy until the paramedics arrived to give them the all clear.

The Fire and Emergency Support Service also attended to help the family find alternative accommodation for the night.

Before fire crews left the scene, smoke detectors where fitted to both levels in the house and firefighters have now visited similar homes in the area to offer residents a free home fire safety check and see whether they have working smoke alarms in their home.

Talking about the incident, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Crew Commander, Mark Height, said:

“On this occasion the residents were very lucky, they did all the right things by calling the fire service and closing the interior doors, which stopped the fire spreading any further than the kitchen.

“However, we would never recommend tackling a fire of any size, especially a fire involving hot oil. We would always recommend that you get out, stay out and call 999 and wait for the fire service to arrive.”

Councillor Les Caborn, responsible for Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Whilst chip pan fires are relatively low here in Warwickshire, this one incident highlights just how devastating they can be.

“So if you are still using an old style pan, perhaps now is the time to consider investing in a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer or switching to over chips to help prevent the worst.”

Cllr Richard Chattaway, chairman of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: Knowing what to do in the event of a fire is very important. Closing interior doors to stop the fire from spreading is a key to reducing the fire damage in your home, but our priority would always be to get out and let the fire service deal with the fire.

“Your home can be replaced – your life can’t.”

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