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Firefighters have issued a reminder about the dangers of leaving cooking unattended after a restaurant fire on St James’s Street in Westminster on Saturday evening.
It’s believed that the fire started accidentally when hot cooking oil was left unattended on a gas hob.
The fire damaged part of the basement kitchen, as well as ducting (the restaurant’s ventilation system) between the basement and ground floor. Around 160 people left the restaurant before the Brigade arrived.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Around 60 per cent of accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen. Whether you are a professional chef or just cooking dinner at home, taking a few simple safety measures can make all the difference.
“Remember to take pans off the heat and turn off the hob or grill if you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. You should also check that ovens and hobs are not accidentally left on and that chip pans and other items are not left too close to the cooker. You should also ensure ovens, hobs, cooker hoods and ventilation systems are kept clean to avoid a build up of fat and grease, which could ignite and cause a fire."
The Brigade was called at 2045 and the fire was under control at 2208. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Soho and Lambeth fire stations attended the incident.