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Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Chip pan warning after fatal fire
Andrew Roberts
Andrew Roberts died after a fire said to have begun in a chip pan
A fire service chief has urged people to throw away their chip pans after a number of cooking-related fires, one fatal, across north Wales.

The bank holiday weekend has seen five kitchen-based blazes in 24 hours.

In Ruthin, Denbighshire, a 39-year-old man, named locally as Andrew Roberts, died after a fire in his two-storey terraced home early on Sunday.

North Wales Fire Service said initial investigations pointed to a chip pan being left unattended.

Fire crews were called by a neighbour at 0654 BST on Sunday. Mr Roberts was brought out of the house by fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance but died later.

In two earlier incidents that morning, a man in Greenfield, Flintshire, needed treatment for smoke inhalation and an address in Buckley was left heavily smoke damaged.

Other incidents were reported in Pentre Gwyn and Coedpoeth in Wrexham.

Scene of fatal chip pan fire
Four fire fighters using breathing apparatus went into the house

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Ennes said each incident involved either chip pans or cooking being left unattended.

He said the service was "continuously warning" about the dangers of fires - particularly in the kitchen.

He said: "But the message is either not being listened to or people don't think it will happen to them.

"I can also not overemphasise the need to remain alert when cooking.

"Many of our incidents often occur when people have consumed alcohol - again our message is clear, alcohol and cooking do not mix. Stay alert and stay in the kitchen."

Mr Ennes urged people to throw away their chip pans.

He said: "Chip pans are dangerous and my advice to anyone would be to invest with the safer option of a deep fat fryer."


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