Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Saturday, 26 December 2009

Safety warning over kitchen fires

Fire officials in North Yorkshire have issued a warning about kitchen fires after a rise in the number of incidents across the county.

It comes after an elderly man died earlier this month when his chip pan caught fire at his home in York.

Crews have been to 11 fires where pans and cooking was left unattended, as well as a toaster fire and a dishwasher fire since 10 December.

The fire service said such incidents increased over the Christmas period.

Group manager Trevor Lund, in charge of community safety at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "At this time of year we often see an increase in fires starting in kitchens as people celebrate, entertain guests and forget about basic fire safety.

"Perhaps after drinking more alcohol than usual, a snack seems like a good idea but then the cooker, hob or chip pan is left unattended and a fire starts.

"Very quickly the smoke produced can be lethal."

Free home fire safety checks and smoke alarms are available by contacting the fire service.

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