Chip pan fires hit Rainham cafe and Harold Hill home in same afternoon

Firefighters were called out to both incidents

Firefighters were called out to both incidents - Credit: sub

Havering firefighters were called to two separate chip pan fires in the space of three hours yesterday.

The first incident saw customers evacuated from Porky’s Café, Rainham, at about 12.10pm.

By the time Wennington’s fire crew arrived, a quick-thinking bystander had managed to throw a fire blanket over the flames – but unfortunately he sustained burns to his hands and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance.

The café was smoke damaged but had today opened for business.

Three hours later, Hornchurch Fire Station was called to a chip pan fire in Honeysuckle Close, Harold Hill.

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A resident had successfully turned the heat off and shut the door to the kitchen, minimising the impact of the blaze.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “A lot of people think chip pans are a thing of the past, but you would be surprised how many people actually still use them.

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“Chip pans can be lethal as the oil can easily catch fire. Electric fryers or oven chips are much safer but if you still use a chip pan you should make sure it’s never more than a third full with oil.

“It’s also vital that you keep an eye on your chip pan at all times as it can only take a few seconds for a fire to take hold.

“If you’re using a chip pan and the oil starts to smoke, we advise that you turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down.

“If your chip pan does catch fire you shouldn’t try to move the pan.

“Never throw water on it or you could create a fireball. Turn off the heat if it’s safe to do so, leave the kitchen, close the door, go outside and call 999.”

Were you there when either fire broke out? Call the news desk on 020 8477 3903, e-mail or leave a comment below.

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