Fire risk wake-up call to Hatfield students

PUBLISHED: 11:07 24 December 2010

Fire

Fire

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FIREFIGHTERS are warning residents - and university students in particular - about the dangers of falling asleep with cookers left on.

Crew commander Simon Dredge

The plea for vigilance came after fire crews were called to four separate kitchen blazes in Hatfield in just four days.

Simon Dredge, a crew commander at Hatfield fire station, said on each occasion the homes belonged to students.

He said: “In four days we’ve had as many kitchen fires – not all full-blown blazes, but all down to cooking.

“They were all students as well; leaving their cooking unattended and either going out or going to sleep.

“In one of the cases a chip pan had ignited.

“When we got there, smoke was billowing out of the window and fire was crawling over the ceiling.

“Luckily everyone had got out safely.”

He said: “It might be just a bit of burnt cooking, but it creates a lot of smoke and damage.”

The incidents took place at properties in Cunningham Avenue, Dragon Road, Wood Vale and a halls of residence on the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland campus.

Now Mr Dredge, who was named Hertfordshire’s firefighter of the year in October, said he was planning to work with the university in a targeted campaign to help raise fire safety awareness among students.

Dean of students David Ball said the university did what it could to highlight fire safety advice in halls of residence.

Mr Ball said: “There are safety notices and fire extinguishers in all halls of residence and we continue to keep students informed of safety procedures.

“Our staff in the halls of residence are fully trained and maintain good links with the local fire brigade.”

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