Firefighters have issued a chip pan safety warning after a fire in Purfleet last night.

Fire crews were called the kitchen fire in Keswick Gardens, and at the time of the 999 call, the occupants were still inside the property.

When fire crews arrived they found the kitchen smoke logged and the cooker area had suffered some fire damage. The owners had got out safely and the fire was out.

Firefighters found that a damp tea towel had been used to try to extinguish the fire.

Watch Manager Gary Bannister said: "This fire could have been alot worse any drops of water from the tea towel actually came into contact with the hot oil from the chip pan.

"It's a common mistake to make, so we want to make sure everyone knows that if you have a fire involving any sort of fat or oil, DO NOT let any water come into contact with the oil, never use a damp tea towel and do not attempt to tackle the fire if it is not safe to do so. Even one drop of water could cause a huge fire ball and cause serious injury.

"The best thing to do is if it's safe to do so, turn the heat source off, and then immediately get out of the house, closing all doors behind you and call 999".