SIX kitchen fires in six hours have led to a warning from firefighters.
Between 11.15am and 5pm on yesterday (March 30), firefighters were called to kitchen fires in Boxgrove, Yapton and Bognor Regis, as well as two in Worthing and one in Crawley.
“Careless cooking is the most common cause of accidental house fires in West Sussex with around two-thirds of all house fires starting in the kitchen,” said a spokeswoman from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
The Boxgrove fire was in Crouch Cross lane at 11.19am, the Yapton fire in a bungalow in Blenheim Road at 4.12pm and followed immediately at 4.59pm in Campbell Road, Bognor Regis.
Most of the fires started as a result of cooking being left unattended and were contained to the cooker area.
“If there is limited worktop space it can be tempting to leave things on the hob top, but it’s not worth the risk. Knocking a hob dial on sounds like a freak incident, but it’s happened on a number of occasions in West Sussex recently,” said watch commander Lee Walton.
“The best piece of advice I can offer is to keep your cooking area completely clear and, if you have an electric cooker, switch it off at the wall when you’re not using it.
“The Home Fire Safety Checks that we carry out and the smoke detectors we fit undoubtedly mean that many lives are saved because people are getting an early warning of a fire. However, a smoke detector alone cannot prevent a fire starting in the first place so we are urging residents to take a little extra care when they are cooking to minimise the risk of a fire occurring.”