A family narrowly escaped injury after a chip pan burst into flames in Dartford.

Firefighters were called to Francis Road last night after the family discovered a chip pan alight in the kitchen of their two-storey home at just past 9pm last night, November 5.

The mother tried to smother the fire with a tea-towel, which quickly caught fire too, so the family then threw a bucket of water towards the cooker in an attempt to douse the flames.

The water caused the fire to ‘flash over’, according to watch manager John Allright.

He said: "The occupants were extremely lucky to have escaped injury because adding water to the oil fire caused the water to instantly heat up, expand, turn to steam and rise in a big steam cloud.

“Each particle of steam would have been coated in burning oil and could have caused serious burns if anyone had come into contact with it.”

The family a mother and three children, all got out of the property unharmed and called 999.

The fire caused damage to the cooker surround, cupboards and kitchen ceiling, as well as smoke logging.

Firefighters replaced the smoke alarms in the property and offered some safety advice and reassurance to the family.

Mr Allright said: “It is extremely easy to get distracted while cooking, however I would urge residents to take extra care not to leave cooking unattended.

“We would also advise families to consider getting for a thermostat-controlled deep fat fryer or using oven chips instead of using an open pan, as hot oil can overheat and ignite very easily, resulting in a fire that can spread extremely quickly.”