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200 are evacuated after blazing pan leads to 'severe' blaze
Students have been warned about the dangers of leaving pans unattended after a “severe” kitchen blaze at a Bradford hall of residence forced the evacuation of 200 people.
Firefighters were called to the privately-owned Forster Hall of Residence on Great Horton Road, Bradford, at 10.10pm on Monday after a pan fire broke out in the kitchen of a third-floor flat.
Students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College, who rent the self-catering accommodation, were forced to leave the six-storey building as crews tackled the blaze, which is believed to have started after a woman in the flat left a pan of oil unattended.
Fire chiefs last night warned students to take care while cooking to avoid tragedies.
Watch commander Spencer Priestley, of Odsal fire station, which was called to the scene, said: “Fortunately, in this instance, no-one was injured.
“It was quite a severe fire which destroyed the majority of the kitchen and caused a lot of smoke damage in the flat.”
Fire broke out when a female student, who was alone in the six-bedroom flat, left a pan unattended in a communal kitchen area.
Crews used breathing apparatus and positive pressure ventilation as they tackled the flames.
Watch commander Priestley said: “The girl did a quite a good job, shutting the doors and setting the fire alarm off.
“She had been cooking when she left the kitchen to take a phone call.
“Because of smoke-logging throughout the building it took around two hours before the students were able to go back inside.
“We’d like to remind people not to leave pans unattended.”
Steven Wiggins, fire safety officer at the University of Bradford, said it took steps to make sure students stayed safe during their time at university.
“When students enrol at the University of Bradford they are all informed of the dangers of fire, particularly the dangers of leaving cooking unattended,” he added.
“We work very closely with the Students’ Union to remind students of these dangers throughout their time at the university.”