A fire which claimed the life of a Staffordshire police officer started after cooking was accidentally left unattended on the hob, an investigation has found.
And Staffordshire fire prevention officers are warning people to be extra careful when cooking. They say that kitchen fires account for the biggest percentage of all accidental house fires they attend.
Firefighters were called to the home of PC David Beech, in Wyreley Way, Tunstall, on Sunday morning after being alerted by neighbours, but he sadly died at the scene.
Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the north of Staffordshire, said: "This is a very tragic situation and, unfortunately, this type of incident is not uncommon for us with kitchen fires still making up the largest percentage of all accidental house blazes that we attend.
"I cannot stress strongly enough how vital it is to stay in the kitchen while you are cooking. The majority of kitchen fires start when food is left unattended and it either overheats or fat residue on appliances left behind from previous use ignites."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is offering people free Home Fire Risk Checks. During the visits, crew members or trained technicians check every room in the property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.
People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp