Woman has lucky escape after fire

A WOMAN in her 70s was treated in hospital for shock and smoke inhalation following a chip pan fire which started in the kitchen of her Warren Gardens home on Monday afternoon.

Fire crews have credited a working smoke alarm for helping to save the woman’s life. She was taken to hospital following the incident that occurred around 2.15pm.

The woman had been shallow frying and left the kitchen for a short while to go upstairs at her terrace house.

When she was alerted by the smoke alarm, she discovered the chip pan had caught fire. She quickly got out of the building before contacting the fire service. Three appliances from Lisburn and Dunmurry arrived, which included up to 13 fire fighters.

Watch Commander Rodney Balmer said, “It was just luck that this woman had a working smoke alarm in her home.

“This incident shows the importance of a good working smoke alarm. This is a reminder to everyone that they should check their smoke alarm regularly and that it is working properly, especially at this time of the year.

“We describe this as a chip pan even though it was just shallow frying. We would always encourage people when frying to use a deep fat fryer because of the safety thermostat on it.

“We would encourage anyone if they are cooking at all never to leave it unattended either grilling or leaving anything on the hob.”

Fire crews had left the scene within the hour. The kitchen was left badly damaged and the whole house was smoke logged. Some cupboards, the cooker and hood were left fire damaged. The woman was unable to return to her home after she returned from hospital and had to spend the night elsewhere.

“We are just thankful that we got the fire in its early stages. We had arrived at the scene within three minutes of the call being made,” said Mr Balmer.

“We could have been looking at a very different scenario if the woman had not had a working smoke alarm, it could have been fatal.

“If cooking we would encourage anyone to make sure that it is not left unattended. This is a lesson for us all.”