Fire service issues advice after kitchen fire in high rise flats in Luton

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Firefighters offer advice to residents after extinguishing a kitchen fire in a block of high rise flats in Luton.

Fire Control was alerted to the incident at the seven storey Spandow Court, Elizabeth Street, Luton, just after 3.30pm on Friday, September 29.

In line with the Service’s high rise procedures four fire engines were sent to the scene, two from Dunstable Community Fire Station, one from Stopsley and one from Markyate, sent by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The two Luton appliances were already attending another incident in the town.

When the first Firefighters arrived after seven minutes they had to force entry to a fifth floor flat in the building.

They found a small fire developing in the kitchen and crews, wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves against smoke and fumes, used three fire jets to extinguish the fire.

Fire crews cleared the smoke from the flat and the communal areas on the fifth floor using positive pressure ventilation and used thermal imaging cameras to ensure the blaze was out.

The flat was empty at the time and the fire was caused by a pan left on the kitchen stove, there were no casualties.

Group Commander Steve Allen said: “Our crews followed our procedures for fighting high rise fires and everything went as expected. The fire was contained within the flat where it started and only caused damage to the kitchen.

“There was some nasty smoke damage to the fifth floor communal areas, however the fire doors in the building prevented the smoke spreading into other properties.

“Residents followed fire service advice and stayed put in their flats and there was no need to evacuate anyone.

“I’d like to commend the crews for their quick action that prevented the fire becoming more serious.”

This is the seventh kitchen fire in Bedfordshire in the last three days and Firefighters are urging people to follow their advice to prevent further incidents.

· Don’t leave the kitchen while cooking, if you must take pans off the heat or turn them off to prevent them overheating and catching fire;

· Don’t be distracted your mobile phone while cooking;

· Always double check your cooker is off when finished cooking, leaving pans on a hot stove, even when it’s switched off, can cause residual oil, fat or grease to catch fire;

· Keep tea towels, cloths, cookery books and other flammable material away from the cooker and hob;

· Hot oil can catch fire if left for too long;

· If oil starts to smoke - it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool;

· Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer which keeps oil from self-igniting;

· If your pan of hot oil catches fire leave it where it is, turn off the heat if it’s safe to do so, then get out and ring 999;

· Never throw water on burning oil. It will turn into a fireball, spreading the fire and causing serious injury.