A MUM and two young children were forced to jump from their first-floor bedroom window to escape a blaze in their home.
The 22-year-old Hartlepool mum and two children, aged three and four, woke up to thick black smoke inside their house in Leamington Parade after a chip pan was left on in the kitchen overnight.
Fire chiefs say the family had a “very lucky escape” and have warned people about the dangers of leaving chip pans unattended.
The drama started when the woman’s partner came home at around 2am, put a pan of chips on and then fell asleep downstairs.
Shortly before 8am he woke to a house full of black smoke and raised the alarm, with his partner and children jumping from the first floor bedroom window onto the roof of the kitchen and then safely down into the back yard.
The man, who had tried to put the fire out himself, escaped through the front door.
Fire chiefs say the pan was smouldering for several hours but luckily the heat caused the overhead extractor fan to drop down, which knocked the pan of burning oil onto the floor and minimised the fire damage but causing more smoke.
The family escaped with mild smoke inhalation while the cooker was destroyed with severe heat and fire damage to the rest of the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the rest of the house.
There was also damage to the electrics inside the terraced house.
Phil Summers, crew manager at Stranton Fire Station, said: “The young family have had a really lucky escape.
“The partner and two children managed to escape from an upstairs back bedroom window, which opened wide, and they were then able to drop down onto the flat roof of the kitchen and then jump from there to safety.
“They were all suffering from mild smoke inhalation.
“There was a smoke alarm fitted but it didn’t go off so we carried out a home fire safety visit and fitted some new smoke alarms.”
Fire chiefs have warned people to never leave cooking unattended.
Crews from Stranton Fire Station were called to the terraced house in Leamington Parade at 8am on Friday and spent around 30 minutes at the scene.
For more information about a free home fire safety visit call (01429) 874063.