A WIGAN pensioner was indebted to two heroic workmen who doused the flames of a kitchen blaze.
Gas pipeline engineers Stephen Clinton and Gavin Redpath saw black smoke coming from a house on Jupiter Grove, Marus Bridge, and immediately went to help the elderly owner.
The 70-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, had left a chip pan unattended on the hob and was only alerted to the fire when his smoke alarm sounded.
Mr Clinton, who along with his colleagues from Ridge Utilities, is carrying out maintenance work on Highfield Grange Avenue, said he initially thought the smoke was from a garden fire. He said: “I could see thick black smoke but it wasn’t until I saw a neighbour standing outside the house that I thought something was wrong.
“The kitchen was completely ablaze, the walls and ceiling were on fire and you couldn’t see anything inside because of the smoke.
“I called my colleagues to help and went to check that the owner was out safely.”
Colleague Mr Redpath quickly brought a fire extinguisher and put out the fire, giving no second thought to his safety.
He said: “I didn’t really think about it, we had the equipment so I think anyone would do the same.
“Myself and Stephen made sure the owner wasn’t in trouble and got the fire under control. We had called the fire service already and we waited for the officers to arrive.”
Two fire crews from Wigan fire station attended the scene at just after 4pm on Tuesday and gave the shocked pensioner oxygen treatment.
He declined hospital treatment and officers said he was lucky to have escaped serious injury.
Mr Redpath said: “We went back to check that he was okay yesterday morning and he was back in the house.
“It’s a good job we were there because the kitchen was pretty much destroyed.
Mr Clinton, added: “He was lucky because we had the fire extinguisher with us as part of our equipment, just in the time it would have taken the fire service to get here, there could have been a lot more damage to the house.
“The ceiling was completely covered in flames so if we hadn’t have put them out the fire could have quickly spread.”
Fire chiefs issued a severe warning to residents about the dangers of using a chip pan.
Coun David Acton of Greater Manchester Fire Authority, said: “Leaving any cooking unattended could result in a severe fire or smoke which cause smoke inhalation.”