House fires on the rise in Pontefract

New fire station manager at Pontefract station, Ian Stead.'p306b405
New fire station manager at Pontefract station, Ian Stead.'p306b405

Fire chiefs say tumble dryers and cooking incidents have contributed to a rise in house fires in Pontefract and Knottingley.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued safety advice following the ‘notable’ rise in the towns.

Ian Stead, station commander for Pontefract and Featherstone, said: “People need to be more aware when they’re using appliances at home.

“People aren’t paying the attention they should be.”

In the last five weeks crews have dealt with nine house fires in the area, two involved tumble dryers and the six others were cooking related, - largely due to pans being left unattended.

One of the fires resulted in a family of four being taken to hospital as a precaution.

Mr Stead said: “People tend to think it’s not going to happen to them.

“These fires could have been a lot worse, people have been lucky so far.

“Thankfully there were no serious injuries or major damage to the homes, but these fires could have been very serious if left any longer.”

He said the fire service aimed to do as much preventative work as possible.

Mr Stead said; “We are not just going to sit back and react, we want to be proactive.

“We have a dedicated prevention team in Wakefield. We target vulnerable areas each month, we’re quite dynamic in how we work.”

He advised householders to make sure appliances were turned off once finished with.

To book a free Home Fire Safety Check,visit or contact your local fire station.

l Man treated after tumble dryer fire, see page 11.