Firefights warn of the dangers of leaving cooking unattended after Romford house fire.


Firefighters are warning of the dangers of leaving cooking unattended after a fire at a house on Pinecroft in Romford.

The Brigade was called at 21.10 on Monday 3 of August. The fire was under control by 22.01. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Hornchurch, Harold Hill, Dagenham and Romford fire stations attended the scene.

Most of the ground floor of a semi-detached house was damaged by fire. Five people left the building before the Brigade arrived. One man, one woman and three children were treated on scene by London Ambulance Service crews.

The Brigade’s Fire Investigators believe the fire was caused by a chip pan which was left unattended.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home.

“Cooking should never be left unattended on the hob or grill – if you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the heat.

“Chip pans and cooking with hot oil can be really dangerous and the risk increases when you start frying food more than once.

“All it can take is for you to become distracted for a few seconds and your cooking oil can quickly go up in flames.”

Practical steps for safer cooking:

  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil as it can easily overheat and catch fire.
  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil – oil and water are a dangerous mix.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Try not to leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill – if you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the heat.
  • Not feeling 100%? Order a takeaway – if you’re very tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that might make you drowsy, it’s safer not to risk it.
  • Be fabric aware – loose clothing can easily catch fire, so take care not to lean over a hot hob, and always keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

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