Four letters across – fire: Warning after Wythenshawe crossworder saved by neighbours from chip pan blaze

By Oliver Rhodes

A chip pan and a good crossword almost proved a dangerous combination for a Wythenshawe man last night when his interest in one led to him forgetting about the other.

Quick-thinking neighbours were spurred into action after noticing smoke coming from the kitchen of the man’s sixth floor flat in Brownley Court Road, Benchill.

One of the neighbours turned the pan off while another doused it with water.

Crews from Wythenshawe, Withington and Cheadle fire stations rushed to the scene at around 7.50pm to complete the job.

But watch manager Pat Johnson, based at Wythenshawe Fire Station, has warned that the neighbours’ actions could have proved even more dangerous because chip pan fires should not be extinguished with water.

He said: “One of the neighbours took the chip pan off the heat and the other put water on it.

“Putting water on a chip pan is not recommended because it can make the fire worse, but on this occasion it ended okay.”

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) trauma technician provided oxygen to the man after he inhaled some smoke.

And firefighters and staff from GMFRS will return to the man’s flat to carry out a home safety check.

GMFRS are urging people to ban the pan from their homes following the fire – and there is a YouTube video to highlight the danger.

Councillor David Acton, the chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, hopes the flat owner recovers quickly from the fire and thanked the two neighbours.

“We want people to ban the pan from their homes because chip pans are just so dangerous – if you’ve got one, please get rid of it,” he added.

Image courtesy of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service, with thanks.

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