Warning after spate of kitchen fires including fire near Midhurst

Fire crews treated a man for smoke inhalation
Fire crews treated a man for smoke inhalation

‘Keep your cooker hob clear’ is the message from crews after they were called to three small kitchen fires in the county last week.

A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “Two of the fires - in East Grinstead and at Christ Hospital School - involved oven gloves left on a hob, whilst a third incident in Easebourne near Midhurst on Saturday started when a chopping board was accidentally set alight.

“Thankfully there were no injuries and the fires did not spread or cause major damage, but at the Easebourne incident firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to force entry to the property and extinguish a small blaze with a hosereel.”

Midhurst firefighter Mark Purves said 60 per cent of fires in the home start in the kitchen and these are often as a result of leaving cooking unattended or by being distracted.

He said: “It’s easy to make a simple mistake and these incidents highlight how easy it is for a fire to start.

“Cooking requires our full attention even after the meal has been served so please keep your cooker hob clear of anything combustible, and if you are going out please do those last minute checks before rushing out of the door. Have you turned everything off?”

“The incident again shows the value of a working smoke alarm how it can protect your property even if you’re not there.

“The house was unoccupied but fortunately the alarm alerted the neighbour and his actions in calling us undoubtedly helped to minimise the damage.”

For advice on smoke alarms or kitchen fire safety please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire

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