A NEW Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service campaign looks to highlight the dangers of cooking fires.

The Cook Safe, which was launched yesterday, reminds people that while firefighters might put out flames quickly, the impact of fires can last for much longer.

Ellis Bicknell, watch manager at Kidlington Fire Station, said: “Having recently attended a serious house fire, I know from experience that no one would want to accidentally set their kitchen alight. The consequences are terrible.

"When I approached the kitchen door, there was a small amount of smoke; nothing to worry about, or so I thought.

“Entering the kitchen, I saw flames in and around the cooker, leaping up to the ceiling. The back door was open, so most of the smoke was escaping. The downside: more oxygen was being sucked into the fire from outside, increasing its ferocity. This was a serious situation."

He ordered firefighters to use breathing apparatus and the fire was eventually tamed by using high pressure hoses.

The fire was caused by a build-up of food and oils catching light and the owner said he had intended to clean it up. He had a smoke alarm – but there was no battery in it.

The Oxford Times:

For more information, visit the county council's website at www.365alive.co.uk/cooking