THREE people were rescued from a burning building after a chip pan was left unattended.
Firefighters from South Shields and Sunderland fire stations were called to a three-storey block of flats in Harton Lane, South Shields yesterday.
The fire broke out at the building, which was formally used as a public house, at 6.19pm.
The blaze started in the kitchen of the first floor flat, leaving it damaged by smoke and fire.
The ground floor flat was also damaged by the run-off of water.
Three occupants had to be rescued from the building using a 10.5m ladder.
One person was led to safety by fire crews down an external staircase.
They were taken to South Tyneside District Hospital by ambulance, suffering from smoke inhalation.
One of the occupants had made their own way out of the flat before fire crews arrived.
Firefighters say the fire was caused by a chip pan that was left unattended.
Just one house later, at 7.20pm, firefighters were called to a four-storey block of flats in Rekendyke Mews, Laygate, South Shields, where another chip pan had started a blaze.
The fire was in the kitchen of the flat on the top floor. It was left damaged by smoke.
The occupant had made their own way out of the flat before crews arrived, and was given first aid by firefighters after suffering minor burns.
They were left in the hands of the ambulance service.