FIRE chiefs have warned people not to leave pans of food unattended on the stove after a kitchen fire.
Crews from Stranton and the Headland were called to Raby Gardens, in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool, after reports of smoke coming from a kitchen.
A man in his 50s had left a chip pan on the stove before leaving the house for a short while.
The pan caught fire and the thick smoke set the fire alarm off.
The alarm was raised by the man on his return to the house.
A teenage boy was also in the house at the time, but he managed to get out safely after hearing the smoke alarms.
Fire chiefs say there was 100 per cent heat and smoke damage to the kitchen and fire damage to the walls.
A spokesman for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “Do not be careless and never leave a pan on a stove and leave the property.
“We would urge people to always be careful.
“This could have been a lot worse if the smoke alarm had not been fitted and working properly.”
Firefighters spent about 30 minutes at the incident at 1.45pm on Tuesday.