A KITCHEN caught fire at a flat in Westhoughton after the occupant went out to the shops while cooking.

Firefighters from Leigh, Atherton and Hindley were called to the flat in New Drake Green at about 11pm last night, after the occupant, a 47-year-old man, had turned on his cooker and popped out.

While he was out, a build-up of fat in the cooker caused it to catch fire.

The man, who is the sole occupant of the flat, tried to put the fire out himself and suffered from the effects of breathing smoke.

He was taken to hospital as a precaution and firefighters spent about two-and-a-half hours putting out the fire and clearing the damage.

Simon Wood, watch manager at Atherton fire station, said: “If you are leaving your property, don’t ever put the cooker on.”