TWO young Tesco workers have been thanked by firefighters for spotting the smoke coming from a Gosport chip shop, and phoning the emergency services, after their shifts.
Gosport Fire Station watch manager Rob Furst said the lads dialled 999 just before 12.30am, after they spotted smoke coming from Rowner Fish & Chips, on Rowner Lane.
Firefighter Furst said: ‘It would appear the chip heaters or oil heaters were left on last night, that and a combination of excess batter and the remains of chips caused the area where the chips are scooped out of before they’re served, to catch fire.
‘The shop was filled with smoke, it was only quite a small fire, but oil gives off a huge amount of smoke before it catches light - had the situation been left it could have been much worse, the shop had no fire alarm.
‘Luckily the lads saw the smoke and phoned us straight away and waited for us until we got there, so a big thank you to them.’
The fire crews from Gosport and Fareham had to break-in to the shop to gain entry, and two firefighters wore breathing apparatus and a thermal imaging camera before going inside.
The fire was put out using the shop’s foam extinguisher, and the premises re-secured.
Firefighter Furst added: ‘This could have been avoided by better housekeeping – making sure the fryers are clean and free of any food debris at the end of each shift, and ensuring they are turned off.
‘A fire safety inspector will visit the shop today to let the owners know what happened.’
‘If the fire had gotten any bigger it would have been bad because most of the fixtures and fittings inside a shop like that are combustible.’