A spate of blazes in commercial kitchens has prompted the fire service to issue a warning about the danger posed by poorly maintained extractor fans in restaurants and takeaway food outlets.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service urged owners to ensure that ventilation systems are properly maintained after a fire gutted the Planet Bollywood restaurant in Glebe Street, Stoke-on-Trent.
Neighbouring properties were also damaged in the blaze, which is believed to have been caused by the extractor fan in the kitchen accidentally catching fire and causing flames to rise up the shaft into the roof.
Hanley Fire Station Watch Manager Mark Hall urged other restaurants and takeaway owners to ensure they do not also become victims of this type of incident.
He said they should check that cookers, extractor fans and cooker hoods are clean.
When oil residue is hot, it can quickly and easily ignite causing extensive damage, he warned.
The extraction system should also be checked on a regular basis and all members of staff should be fully aware of the fire safety plan should an emergency happen, said Mr Hall.
Following this advice could not only save businesses, it could save lives, he added.
Copyright Press Association 2013