A SPATE of kitchen fires in Stafford has prompted a fresh warning to take care when cooking.
Firefighters say there have been four kitchen fires in and around the town in less than two weeks.
The first happened on July 12 and involved a chip pan which caught fire at a house in West Way, Highfields. Crews from Stafford and Gnosall spent two hours dealing with the lunchtime blaze.
This was followed by another fire on July 17 at a flat on Barnes Road, also in Highfields.
It is believed that items of clothing had been left on a cooker, which was switched on. Firefighters from Rising Brook and Stafford were called out at 11.30pm.
A crew from Stafford tackled a third blaze at Oldfields Crescent in Great Haywood on July 19.
The fourth fire was at a third Highfields property, in Coghlan Drive, on July 22. Firefighters from Stafford and Rising Brook were called to scene. The last two incidents were caused by ovens catching fire.
Community Safety Officers have been delivering postcards featuring the top 10 cooking safety tip’ to properties located in the areas affected by the fires.
Carmel Warren, Prevention Manager for the west of the county, said: "Unfortunately these types of incident are not uncommon and can have devastating – potentially life-threatening - consequences.
"There are some very simple steps that can be followed in order to avoid being the victim of a kitchen fire. The most important thing to remember is to never leave cooking unattended. The vast majority of kitchen fires break out when people are cooking food and it is left unattended, it either over-heats or fat residue that has been left on appliances from previous use ignites.
"We would urge people to avoid using chip pans – instead opt for a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer, don’t drink alcohol prior to cooking and never wear loose clothing which could easily catch fire."