A FIRE boss has sent a warning after crews were called to a blaze that started when an elderly man microwaved a pie in a foil wrapper.

Firefighters from Barrow, Walney and Ulverston stations were called to the kitchen fire, with fears the man was still in the house as the fire developed.

Crews were at the house in Barrow for around 20 minutes.

They were called around 7.30am on Wednesday morning.

Following the fire, station manager Roger Exley said: "He put a pie with silver foil on it in the microwave and it set that off.

"Obviously you're going to generate instant sparks and flames there."

Three crews were originally called out with fears the man was still in the house, but two were later stood down.

Mr Exley said despite the fire being small, it served as a valuable lesson to people.

"Luckily he had a smoke alarm," he said.

"It's a classic fire in the kitchen.

"We have this quite a lot in Barrow. But he's doing the right thing using a microwave rather than cooking on a open stove.

"But putting metal in is an absolute no-no.

"It was a small incident but the message is clear - ensure you have smoke detectors fitted in your home - they really do save lives.

"Without a smoke alarm that smoke would have developed.

"When you have a fire in the home the damage the smoke does alone causes a lot of problems."

The fire boss stressed that crews were able to fit smoke alarms in homes for free.

He also warned people not to leave cooking unattended, not to leave tea towels by open flames or use chip pans and to 'get out and stay out' in event of a fire in the home.

Firefighters are conducting 'safe and well' visits to check the safety of people's homes, initially on the phone during the pandemic.

To arrange a visit, call 0800 3584777.

According to research, in 20 per cent of accidental fires in the UK, smoke alarms fail to activate because they are broken or not in the right place.

was a 'classic' incident in Barrow