FIREFIGHTERS have issued a new warning over a "fireball" risk after a man threw water on cooking oil that had caught fire.

Crews have issued safety advice on how to react in the event of a fire involving cooking oil, after an incident in Southend this afternoon.

Crews confirmed on arrival at a property in Maple Square that the kitchen of a flat was filled with smoke, after oil had caught fire in a pan.

Dan Hart, Watch Manager at Southend Fire Station, said: "While it might feel instinctive to pour water on a fire, this incident is yet another example of why you should never do that when cooking oil has ignited.

"Adding water to flaming cooking oil creates a dangerous chemical reaction which often results in a fireball - it will not extinguish the flames. This man was very fortunate to avoid injury.

"You should turn down the heat on your hob if you notice cooking oil is starting to smoke - but if it has already ignited and it isn't safe to turn off the heat, don't put yourself at risk and attempt to fight the fire: get out, stay out and call the fire service out."

Firefighters used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the property of smoke, before leaving the scene shortly after 12.45pm.