Essex Fire and Rescue has issued an urgent warning to the public after a family bungalow in Kirby Cross, near Frinton, was destroyed by a BBQ fire. The blaze was caused by embers from the barbecue that caught in the wind and quickly spread to the side of the house. Although nobody was injured, the family has been left homeless and the bungalow has been deemed uninhabitable due to fire and smoke damage throughout. The fire caused tens of thousands of pounds in damage.
The London Fire Brigade has also issued safety advice ahead of BBQ season, urging people to keep an eye on where they position their BBQs and suggesting keeping it on level ground and well away from anything flammable such as trees, sheds or fences. They also warn against using petrol, paraffin or any other flammable liquid on your barbie and recommended sticking with firelighters.
Watch Manager Gary Clarke from Clacton Fire Station has reminded people to properly extinguish any embers before leaving a BBQ, bonfire or using a fire pit. He advises using a bucket of water to do so, as it only takes a small ember to start a fire. Clarke also warns that with the sunny weather recently, everything has had a chance to dry out, which can help a fire spread.
The fire was contained to one address and was not life-threatening. Essex Police officers attended nearby properties to temporarily move residents to a safe location while fire crews dealt with the incident. Paramedics were also at the scene to help any residents who may have sustained injuries or inhaled smoke. Following the incident, Frinton and Walton Town Mayor, Paul Clifton, praised the emergency services for their work and reiterated the importance of safety advice from the fire service regarding fires in summer started by barbecues or bonfires.
BBQ season is a popular time for many, but it is important to remember the potential dangers that come with it. By following safety advice and properly extinguishing any embers, we can ensure that everyone stays safe and can enjoy the summer weather without incident.