Firefighters tackle kitchen fire after teenager leaves cooking on the stove to play video games


- Credit: Cambs Fire & Rescue Service

A fire broke out at a Saffron Walden home after a teenager left cooking on the stove to play video games.

Two crews from the town wore breathing apparatus and used one hose reel to extinguish the flames at the house on Peal Road, yesterday (Sunday). The fire was out shortly after 4pm.

Station officer Paul Curtis, incident commander, said: “The boy had put the cooker on to make his dinner while his mum and dad were out. He left the cooking in the stove and got distracted by his games console. The unattended cooker caught fire and that spread to other parts of the kitchen.

“Fortunately they had a working smoke alarm which alerted him to the fire so he was able to get safely out and call us. His parents came home shortly after we arrived and were none too pleased, I think it’s fair to say that the boy is in a lot of trouble.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service offered this advice to prevent kitchen fires:

• 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.

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• Never leave children alone whilst cooking – what’s more important, your text or your child?

• 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.