Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 22 December 2014
FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to be safe when cooking this Christmas after a family had a lucky escape from a chip pan fire in Wigan.
A smoke alarm woke the family of four – including a three-year-old boy – after the fire started at their home in Bamfurlong in the early hours of this morning (Monday, December 22, 2014).
Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “This family had a very lucky escape due to a working smoke alarm that did its job and prevented a potentially devastating outcome.
This is how easily a chip pan can catch fire
“It’s so easy to get distracted when cooking – especially at this time of year when people are busy preparing for Christmas.
“But please take extra care in the kitchen over the festive season – make sure you never leave a pan unattended and don't cook if you're feeling drowsy, tired or drinking alcohol.”
Firefighters from Hindley and Wigan fire stations were called to the house in Winstanley Road at 12.36am.
Crew went in and discovered a chip pan fire which they extinguished using a hose reel.
A 43-year-old woman and a three-year-old boy were suffering slight smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries. A teenage boy and a man who were also in the house at the time were also uninjured.
The fire started after one of the family members put a chip pan on and it caught fire. The smoke alarm woke the family, allowing them time to get out of the house, and alerted the neighbours who went to help.
The fire was contained to the pan but there was smoke and heat damage throughout the kitchen.
Cllr Acton added: “I would urge people to ditch their chip pans and swap them for safer alternatives such as deep fat fryers.
“More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen but you can reduce your risk of a serious fire by ensuring you have a working smoke alarm that's correctly fitted and checked regularly.”
This video shows what can happen if you put water onto a chip pan fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfW5YFL1kdE
For further advice on fire safety at home, visit the GMFRS website here: /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_safety.aspx
For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of smoke alarms, call 0800 555 815 or visit /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx