Sheffield burns victim lucky to be alive

Paul Marsh, injured in chip pan fire
Paul Marsh, injured in chip pan fire
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A man whose chip pan exploded, leaving him with burns, says he is ‘lucky to be alive’ and is backing a new fire service safety campaign.

Paul Marsh, aged 21, poured water on to his chip pan after it caught fire at his home on Park Hill, Swallownest, near Sheffield.

But the lethal mixture of water and hot oil caused huge flames to develop – burning Paul as he tried to tackle the kitchen fire.

Paul, who was taken to hospital by ambulance with burns to his left arm, is now calling on people to think twice before cooking using pans filled with oil.

The machine operator said: “I feel really lucky to be alive to be honest – the explosion was absolutely terrifying and everyone I’ve spoken to since, including the firefighters who came to my house, said it could easily have been so much worse.

“I had no idea that pouring water on to hot oil could cause an explosion like that and I really want people to know what happens so that no-one has to go through the experience I’ve just had.”

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue survey found a quarter of people still use a pan filled with hot oil to cook homemade chips – the biggest cause of deaths in the house fires. A third also admitted trying to cook after a night out drinking.

A fire service spokesman said: “The fire service goes to more than 300 kitchen fires every year, many of them caused by chip pans and unattended cooking.

“Our current Kitchen Nightmares campaign aims to cut that figure, raising awareness of some common kitchen safety pitfalls.

“Advice being given to residents includes cleaning out ovens and grills regularly to avoid a build up of fat and grease, never leaving cooking unattended and switching off equipment after use.

“Ditch old-fashioned chip pans, use oven chips or thermostat controlled fryers instead, and don’t attempt to cook if you’ve been out drinking – buy a takeaway instead.”

* Visit South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue for more fire safety advice.