FIREFIGHTERS have urged people to take extra care in the kitchen after latest figures show they attended almost 250 cooking fires in Dorset last year.

Dorset Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) was called to 249 kitchen fires in 2013, a slight increase in the 241 they attended the previous year.

These figures were released following a fire, caused by unattended cooking, that left 18-year-old student Ahmed Ali Al Beinein suffering from smoke inhalation after a blaze at his Bournemouth flat.

Ahmed, speaking after Wednesday’s drama, said he’d fallen asleep at his Hinton Road flat after putting on his cooking. DFRS has urged residents to exercise caution in the kitchen.

Prevention manager Kate Huelin, pictured left, said: “We have seen a small increase in cooking fires over the past two years.

“We continue to urge people to take extra care in the kitchen – please don’t leave cooking unattended even for a minute, take pans off the heat and turn off the heat source.”

Kate has also stressed the importance of ensuring saucepan handles do not stick out and that cookers are turned off after use.

She added: “If you do have a fire, please get out, stay out and call 999.

“Having a working smoke alarm is vital as it will give you an early warning to the fire and extra time to get out. Finally, it is not safe to start cooking once you’ve consumed alcohol – so why not get a takeaway instead?”