FIREFIGHTERS have issued a warning about taking care while cooking after they attended a fire in a Stanford-le-Hope kitchen.

Crews acted quickly to put out the blaze which had started in a kitchen in Nursery Road.

They were called to the house just after 5pm on Thursday and had the fire out by 5.25pm - but the property was heavily smoke-logged.

On return, Essex County Fire and Rescue took the chance to warn residents about taking care while cooking.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: "Our firefighters attend hundreds of fires a year which originate in the kitchen.

"Cooking is one of the major causes of fires in the home and even the smallest kitchen fire can cause devastation to your home and leave loved ones injured or even killed."

More fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the home.

In Essex, around 56 per cent of house fires start in the kitchen and more than a third start with someone cooking.

The service have the following advice:

Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone.

*Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire.

*Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

*Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.

*Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

*Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can’t overheat.

*Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated.