A woman and her children had to escape their home after a fire broke out.
Three fire engines were called to Edenvale Crescent in Lancaster at about 5.15pm on Friday, where a chip pan had set on fire.
Crews said the female occupant of the home had placed a chip pan on the electric hob, and had become “side tracked” looking after her children.
After a short time, the smoke alarm went off and she went to the kitchen to discover a “column of flame” rising from the pan.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “In an attempt to extinguish the fire she grabbed a tea towel and placed it over the chip pan.
“Unfortunately this made the fire worse.
“At this point she decided to evacuate her children and dog from the house shortly before calling 999.
“A family friend then entered the house and tackled the fire by placing a damp tea towel over the pan.
“He put himself at great risk but managed to extinguish the flames shortly before the Fire Service arrived.
“Appliances arrived at the scene to find the kitchen heavily smoke logged and used a positive pressure ventilation unit to clear the smoke whilst removing the pan outside to a place of safety.”
The fire caused severe damage to part of the kitchen.
As a result, firefighters have warned people never to fill a chip pan more than a third full of oil, and to consider using a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer.
They warned never to leave cooking unattended, and not to use a chip pan after consuming alcohol.
Anyone who has a chip pan fire should dial 999 immediately, and should not take any risks attempting to put out the fire.
Never use water on chip pan fires, as this will cause a fireball.