Fire service issues kitchen warning after Rustington incident

Firefighters attended a blaze in Halewick Lane last night. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
Firefighters attended a blaze in Halewick Lane last night. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
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West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) is repeating warnings about cooking fire safety after an incident in Rustington yesterday evening.

The service is raising awareness of kitchen safety this month as more fires and fire injuries are caused in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.

Shortly after 8.30pm last night staff at a nursing home in Worthing Road, Rustington, evacuated residents after a small fire in the kitchen, which was out by the time crews arrived, according to a fire service spokesperson.

There were also incidents in Crawley and Horley.

Last year, kitchen fires accounted for 63 per cent of all home fires in West Sussex, the service says, and the majority of these started on the cooker or in the oven. Fires starting in microwaves, toasters and grills were the next most common cause.

Reducing the number of fires started as a result of cooking remains a key priority for the fire service and firefighters are running dedicated safety events at Homebase, Chichester, this Sunday and at Sainsbury’s, in Haywards Heath, on Tuesday, February 28

The kitchen incidents yesterday came during a busy evening for WSFRS crews and their colleagues at the Sussex Control Centre.

At approximately 4.45pm two crews from Worthing, and a crew from Shoreham, were called to a fire at a derelict warehouse in Halewick Lane, Sompting. The fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

At 6.52pm two crews from Crawley were sent to deal with a horsebox on fire in Copthorne. The blaze is believed to have been started deliberately.

At 7.30pm crews from Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Crawley were called to a collision between a car and a van in Eastern Road, Lindfield, in which one casualty was medically trapped.

At 8.23pm firefighters were called to Cuckfield Road, Burgess Hill, where a small fire had started in a metal container used as a drying room.

WSFRS head of operations Kieran Amos said: “This was a particularly busy evening for our crews and we are grateful to all of our teams, and our colleagues at the Sussex Control Centre, for the professional way in which they managed these calls.

“The cooking incidents serve as a timely reminder during kitchen fire safety month. Many such incidents are avoidable and start when your attention stops.

“We have lots of advice available to residents, both via our website and at local fire stations, but the one piece of advice we would give to everyone is to ensure your home has a working smoke alarm that is tested regularly.”

For more information on cooking safety visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-rescue-service/home-safety-advice/kitchen-safety/

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