Pets killed in Colchester house fire after hob accidentally turned on

Fire crews were called to the scene. File picture: PHIL MORLEY

Fire crews were called to the scene. File picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Two pets have died in a house fire in Colchester this evening, which started in a ground floor kitchen.

Two Essex County Fire and Rescue crews from Colchester were called to Brook Street at 8.16pm to reports of a house fire from neighbours, who heard the smoke alarm from the next door home.

Firefighters arrived to find the house filled with smoke, and entered to find the fire in the kitchen.

Crews quickly put out the flames and stopped it spreading to the rest of the house.

Neighbours’ smoke alarms had already started going off as smoke drifted to neighbouring homes.

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Inside the house firefighters found two cats and a dog, and confirmed that the dog and one cat had died at the scene.

The other cat was successfully revived by firefighters using oxygen therapy, and left the pet in the care of vets.

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Firefighters have said that the flames began on the hob when it had been turned on accidentally, causing items above the hob to catch fire and the flames to spread.

The room is badly damaged, while smoke damage has affected the rest of the home.

Watch Manager Ian Ryder from Colchester Fire Station, said: “Incidents like this show how important smoke alarms are and we want to encourage everyone to check their smoke alarms are in good working order.

“This fire could have been a lot worse if the neighbours were not alerted to the fire by the smoke alarms.

“We can fit smoke alarms completely free of charge to anyone living in Essex so book a home visit with us now.

“You can book online: or call us on 0300 303 0088.

“This incident also shows how easily a hob can be turned on accidentally, especially electric hobs.

“The best thing to do is to turn it off at wall when you’re not using it to avoid this happening.

“More fires started in the kitchen than any other room in the home and most can be easily avoided by following our kitchen fire safety advice.”

Following the blaze, firefighters have issued kitchen safety advice, as outlined below:

-Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone

-If you have to leave the kitchen to answer the door or send a text, turn off the cooker

-Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire.

-Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob

-Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls

-Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire

-Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can’t overheat

-Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated

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