A YOUNG reveller had a lucky escape after putting the chip pan on in the early hours of the morning before falling asleep.
He woke with the flat full of smoke and the pan about to burst into flames.
The man had returned home to his flat in St Abbs Walk, Hartlepool, at 3am this morning after a night out and put the pan on for a late snack.
But he fell asleep, and only woke up after smelling the burning pan in the kitchen.
There was a smoke alarm fitted inside the flat, but it was not working.
The man, who is in his late 20s, put a wet tea towel over the pan, left the flat and called the fire brigade.
Firefighters from Stranton Fire Station were called and officers have urged people not to use chip pans, especially after a night out.
Jason Wood, watch manager at Stranton, said: “Going for a night out and then putting a chip pan on spells danger.
“The flat was smoke logged and the pan was just about to burst into flames. He has had a lucky escape.
“We would advise people to turn off the gas to isolate the supply if possible, leave the property and call the fire brigade.”
Mr Wood added: “The young lad had been out on a night out and when he came back he fancied something to eat.
“He then fell asleep but luckily the smell woke him up which was lucky because the smoke alarm inside the flat was not working.
l FOR a free home fire safety visit, which involves officers giving safety advice and fitting smoke alarms if required, call Cleveland Fire Brigade on (01429) 874063.