May 23 2013 by Jamie Bowman, Crosby Herald
SWEET-toothed Crosby people have been warned after a spate of fires were caused by reheating Eccles cakes.
Firefighters issued the caution after the pastries were blamed for at least three blazes in the area in recent weeks.
Putting them in microwave ovens is believed to cause the sugar on top to catch light.
Ovens and kitchens were damaged in the fires as firefighters arrived to find that Eccles cakes were not the only things to be burnt.
Householders were warned never to try to heat an Eccles cake using a microwave, with fears growing they could cause a more serious incident.
Watch manager James Murphy, based at Crosby fire station, said: “The sugar in the Eccles cakes can ignite if cooked for a little too long.”
He added: “We advise that cooking is never left unattended even for a moment.”
The instructions on shop-bought Eccles cakes advise that if they are to be eaten hot, a conventional oven should always be used to warm them through beforehand.
Jon Wills of Satterthwaites bakery on Coronation Road, Crosby, said that Eccles cakes were one of the store’s biggest sellers.
He said: “It’s never a good idea to heat pastries in a microwave because they cook from the inside out and go soggy and with the Eccles cakes the currants would overheat.”
Mr Murphy also issued a warning over the use of tea light candles.
He said any candles used in the home should always be kept in a ceramic candle holder or dish and should not be left burning in an empty room.
Mr Murphy was speaking after a kitchen in Victoria Road, Crosby was damaged when steak being cooked in a microwave caught light at a house in Victoria Road, Crosby last week.
He said people could take simple steps to help prevent cooking fires, and to minimise damage should they start.
Mr Murphy added: “We advise people have working smoke alarms on each level of their homes.
“They should test them each week by pressing the test button.
“If anyone discovers a fire, our advice is to get out of the house, stay out and then dial 999.”