Post-pub grub sparks kitchen fire

A HOUSE fire broke out in the kitchen of a first-floor flat in Sompting early in the morning on New Year’s Day.

The fire started after the occupant of the flat in Cokeham Court, West Street, Sompting, left cooking unattended after returning from a night out to celebrate the New Year.

The flat was not fitted with a smoke detector, but a quick-thinking neighbour raised the alarm by dialling 999 after smelling smoke.

The call came in at 6.19am, and firefighters from West Sussex Fire and Rescue attended the scene, but they discovered that the fire had already gone out by the time they arrived.

The crew fitted an emergency smoke detector at the property.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Incident Commander Darren Wickings said afterwards: “Cooking under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster and when you combine that with not having a smoke alarm it could have proved deadly in this situation.

“The occupier was extremely lucky that their neighbour was able to raise the alarm.

“Getting an early warning to a developing fire is vital Please make it your New Year’s resolution to check your smoke alarm regularly,” added Mr Wickings.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were particularly busy over Christmas and New Year due to the bad weather.