Firefighters were called to a flat in South Shields after a chip pan caught fire.
12 Firefighters from South Shields and Hebburn stations were alerted to the blaze at 11.21pm yesterday.
The fire had broken out in the kitchen of a first floor flat in Eglesfield Road, Chichester with two occupants inside.
The chip pan was destroyed in the blaze and the cooker and kitchen were left damaged by fire and smoke.
The occupiers had extinguished the fire themselves by placing a lid over the pan and removing the heat source.
At the time of the call, it was believed that people were inside the property but both occupiers had left by the time firefighters arrived.