Monday, 17 December 2012

Chip pan sparks high rise fire in Brighton

Homeowners are being warned of the dangers of cooking with fat following a serious fire in Brighton.

Six crews were called to Saint James's House, High Street, Brighton, on Saturday (15th December) at 4.15pm, after reports of a fire on the 12th floor of the high rise building.

The Service's high rise procedures were immediately put in place. A total of six fire appliances, including one from West Sussex (Shoreham), an aerial ladder platform and Control Unit attended the incident.

Watch Commander Spencer Bartley attended the incident:

“A fire was reported on the 12th floor but when we arrived we could not see any external visible signs of fire. However, the resident of the flat, where the fire originated, approached us on the ground floor and we immediately had him seen to by paramedics.

“The fire alarm system was activated on the affected floor, which gave the other residents notice that there was a fire and they self-evacuated.  They were all out apart from one disabled person who we deemed safe to stay inside the flat.

“Firefighters proceeded to tackle the fire, which the occupant believed he had put out, wearing breathing apparatus and with three main jets working off the building's dry rising main.

“Tackling fires in high rise buildings are often arduous for the crews and require a lot of resources. This incident was on the 12th floor and did require a lot of initial effort to deal with safely and effectively. 

“However, this incident highlights the importance of never tackling a fire yourself. In the event of a chip pan fire always turn the heat off, if safe to do so, shut the door behind you, get out of the property immediately and call the fire service out. On this occasion, the occupant had mistakenly believed he had successfully put the fire out and had to be taken to hospital where he was treated.”

Crews remained at the incident until 6.50pm. The kitchen was affected by fire and the rest of the flat heavily smoke logged. A search was carried out of the occupant’s flat and three other flats that share the same common lobby. Everyone was accounted for and the cause of the fire is being put down as accidental.

It’s important to be aware that more than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking.
Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended.

You need to be especially careful when you are deep-fat frying or cooking with oil because hot oil can catch fire easily. Make sure you:
  • Don't fill a chip pan or other deep-fat fryer more than one-third full of oil.
  • Use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn't get too hot.

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