Fire victim backs new safety campaign

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Another house fire victim in Sheffield is backing a safety campaign urging people to ditch their chip pans.

Roger Hardman and his wife Lynn were cooking homemade chips in a pan of hot oil at their house on Malham Gardens, Halfway, when they briefly left the stove unattended to play in the garden with their two dogs. Moments later the pan caught fire.

Roger tried to tackle the fire himself but was beaten back by flames and smoke.

He was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation - and is now backing South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ campaign, which aims to cut cooking fires across the county.

He said: “I’ve seen plenty of reports in the past where people have fallen asleep, usually after a few drinks, with their cooking on the go and then suffered a fire, but this was different - it was in the day time, neither of us had had a drop to drink and we only left the pan unattended for a short time.

“The biggest thing this fire has taught us is the damage even a relatively small fire can do to your home.

“Apart from the obvious damage to the kitchen and the cooker, the smell of smoke is everywhere. It blackens everything and we’re still spending all our time trying to get the house, and our lives, back to normal.”

Watch Manager Ian Thompson, from Mosborough fire station, said: “This gentleman did his best to tackle the fire himself, but our message couldn’t be any clearer - in the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. Too many deaths and injuries in kitchen fires are caused by people attempting to tackle fires themselves. Even a small fire can spread quickly and get out of control.”

Cooking-related fires caused 60 injuries in South Yorkshire last year.