YOUNG people were led to safety during a blaze at a supported housing scheme in Retford.
The fire took hold of a first floor flat at the Young Persons Housing Scheme in Wright Wilson Street last night (Wednesday 2nd January).
No-one was hurt in the incident but the property was severely damaged.
Two fire engines from Retford were called at 6.18pm to reports of a fat fryer which was on fire in a kitchen.
When they arrived they found that it was more serious than first thought.
Watch manager Matt Lloyd said: “Four young people who had been in the flat had managed to get themselves out .”
“But it was a dangerous situation because there was cooking oil involved.”
“On opening the door to the flat we were met with a rush of black smoke.”
“If we can’t see a flame and there is thick black smoke there is potential for an explosion.”
Mr Lloyd also said there was a danger it could have spread to neighbouring flats.
He added: “Two young girls in the flat above were reluctant to leave but we managed to lead them to safety.”
In total eight people were evacuated from the buildings.
The incident was upgraded as crews battled to prevent the fire from spreading.
An engine from Tuxford joined the operation, police assisted the evacuation and an ambulance assessed people for injuries or smoke inhalation.
Four breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets were used, and fire blankets to smother the oil blaze.
Investigations found that the fire started through the misuse of candles around a chip pan full of hot oil.
Mr Lloyd said the occupant had been cooking, while using candles for light.
“We would urge people to consider changing their chip pan for a deep fat fryer, which won’t over heat and has a thermostat,” he said.
“And always be sensible if using candles. Never leave them unattended.”
A spokesman for Retford Young Persons Housing Scheme said they could not comment on the incident, but confirmed no-one had been injured.