HOUSE fires triggered by absent-minded cooks led to a hectic weekend for Huddersfield fire crews.

Firefighters received four call-outs around the town to kitchen blazes caused by unattended cooking.

The most serious incident happened at 3.15am today, when a family of four escaped from a chip pan fire.

A man in his early 20s had returned to the Crosland Moor house, turned the chip pan on and fell asleep.

His elder brother upstairs at the home on Walpole Road smelled the burning fat and rushed downstairs.

He woke his brother and they tackled the fire by turning off the cooker and smothering the flames with a damp cloth. Both breathed in a lot of smoke and one suffered a burned hand.

They were treated at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Their parents escaped unhurt.

The fire was confined mainly to the cooker, but both the kitchen and living-room were smoke-logged.

Station Officer Alvin Crisp, of Huddersfield, said: "It was lucky the elder brother woke up and smelled the burning fat, or we could have been dealing with a more serious incident. We would urge people to get rid of open chip pans. They are deadly."

At about 8.30pm on Saturday a 67-year-old man had a lucky escape when he poured water on to a flaming chip pan at his house in Hill Grove, Salendine Nook.

"Water and hot fat react and instantly explode," said Leading Firefighter Brian Rhodes. "They explode in a ball of flame and throw all the fat back out.

"The consequences could have been very, very dire," he added.

The man's kitchen was damaged and he suffered burns to his hands. But he did not need hospital treatment. He was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm. The blaze was out before firefighters arrived.

An hour later firefighters were called to a man's home in Quarry Close at Brockholes, where sausages left on the grill had set alight.

Neighbours raised the alarm after seeing smoke and the man was rescued by police. Again, damage was confined to the kitchen.

The fourth incident was at 12.40am yesterday. A woman in flats on Somerset Road, Almondbury, had left her oven on, triggering a fire alarm. Her cooker was wrecked.

The woman was extremely shaken and police helped to calm her down.