Firefighters are calling for a ban on chip pans after a woman narrowly escaped life-threatening injuries in a kitchen fire in Preston.
Officers say the occupier of a flat in Graham Street threw water on blazing oil and was ‘extremely lucky’ not to be seriously burned by the ensuing fireball.
“The lady just panicked,” said watch manager Mark Woodward. “But when you throw water on burning oil it expands something like 1,700 times.
“She was taken to hospital after breathing in fumes. But she was extremely lucky she didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries.
“Our key safety message would be: Ban the pan. Get rid of your chip pans and us either oven chips or a deep fat frier with a thermostatic control.
“Don’t leave cooking unattended. And, if you get a cooking oil fire, don’t use water to try and put it out.”
The distressed victim managed to get out of the flat with her pet dog before fire crews arrived at the scene late on Tuesday.
Officers in breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze and warned neighbours to remain in their homes with the doors closed while they cleared smoke from communal stairwells.