It was a lucky escape for one Northfleet couple, their pets and two young kids – after a chip pan fire in their family home yesterday evening (January 7).

The pan burst into flames after being left on the heat in the London Road home, whilst the family were in another room.

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As the family smelt smoke and rushed into the kitchen, they discovered the fire was beginning to spread to the work surfaces.

The dad put a wet tea towel over the pan to try to smother the flames, and used a dry powder extinguisher.

Thames-side watch manager John Allwright said: "Unfortunately, this made it worse."

Firefighters were called at 7.09pm, and put the flames out.

The family had already turned off power to the home – and saved their pet rabbit and hamster, whilst damage was limited to the worktops and plaster wall.

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On the previous evening (January 6), a couple were forced to evacuated their smoke-filled flat before firefighters could arrive - after a blaze was caused by shopping bags left on the top of the toaster.

Residents from the other flats were asked to stay in their flats as the corridor filled with smoke, whilst KFRS used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smog and a hose reel to extinguish the fire.

It is believed that the fire started after one of the flammable shopping bags accidentally switched the toaster on.

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The fire melted the toaster, caused damage to the work surface, shopping and smoke damage to the kitchen.

Mr Allwright added: "We spoke to the residents involved in these two incidents about how they could keep safe from fire.

"But please talk to your family and discuss whether one of your kitchen habits could cause a fire in your home.

"Fire prevention costs little or nothing and it could be as simple as just doing something differently."