FIREFIGHTERS have warned people not to "drink and fry" after a house fire caused by a chip pan in the Pudsey area.

Fire crews from Stanningley and Leeds were called to Fern Terrace in Stanningley, at 9.55pm on Monday after reports of a fire on the ground floor. On arrival they found that the fire had been caused by an unattended chip pan. The male occupier of the house was suffering from smoke inhalation and needed treatment by paramedics at the scene. The house was heavily smoke damaged.

Firefighters who attended the incident believe the man had been drinking and fell asleep while frying chips. The house had smoke alarms, but they failed to wake the man up. Neighbours had spotted the fire and banged on the door to wake the man.

Watch commander Alan Houldsworth said: "If it wasn't for the neighbours this could have been a lot more serious. They did a fantastic job and possibly saved his life.

"The message we have been putting out for a long time is 'Don't drink and Fry.'"