Cookies on the London Fire Brigade website

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. To find out more or to learn how to change your computer settings on our cookies page.

Last updated: 01/08/2019, 3:38 PM

Fire at student accommodation - Whitechapel

07/03/2019 09:00
Tower Hamlets
House or flat fire

Firefighters have issued a cooking safety reminder after a fire at a student accommodation block on Fieldgate Street in Whitechapel.

Part of a two-roomed flat on the eighth floor was damaged by the fire. Around 150 people left the building before the Brigade arrived. There were no reports of any injuries.

The Brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was accidental and was caused by two rings on the electric hob being inadvertently switched on and setting light to items which had been left on one of the rings.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Our fire investigators believe the occupant of the flat had placed a pan of water onto the electric hob and then left the room, but had inadvertently switched both hob rings on.

"This ignited items which had been left on one of the rings.

"Fortunately, no one was injured but this goes to show how important it is to never leave cooking unattended. If you do have to leave the room, you should always turn the heat off."

The Brigade was called at 0900 and the fire was under control by 0950. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Dowgate fire stations attended the scene.

How to prevent cooking fires

• Avoid leaving cooking unattended 
• Don't cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy 
• Take care not to lean over hot hobs and keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob 
• Be careful to keep the oven, hob, cooker hood and grill clean to avoid a build-up of fat and grease, which could ignite and cause a fire 
• Use spark devices to light gas cookers - they are much safer than matches or lighters as they don't have a naked flame 
• Double check the cooker and hob are turned off when you've finished cooking 
• Check toasters are clean and placed away from anything that can catch fire 
• Never put anything metal in the microwave 
• Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony - burning or smouldering fuel can cause carbon monoxide poisoning 
• Supervise children and pets in the kitchen at all times and keep matches and saucepan handles out of reach

If a pan catches fire

• Don't tackle the fire yourself and don't attempt to move the pan 
• Never throw water over a fire as it could create a fireball 
• Turn off the heat, if it is safe to do so 
• Leave the room, close the door, shout a warning to others and call 999

You may also be interested in...