SPRINKLERS installed at an Oxford tower block have proved their worth after preventing a 'significant fire' from spreading.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said a sprinkler fitted as part of the refurbishment of the city's five tower blocks prevented the kitchen blaze from breaking out in Northway.

READ AGAIN: Sprinkler system to boost tower safety

The fire began on the 14th floor of Plowman Tower at about 7pm on Tuesday, after a pan of cooking oil caught alight.

Fire crews were alerted by an alarm activating but found, when they arrived, that the sprinkler had already doused the flames.

Oxford Mail:

The fire service said the fire was 'significant' before it was put out, and shared a photo of the smoke-blackened ceiling and cabinets.

Writing in a Facebook post, firefighters said: "The fire was completely extinguished with minimal fire and smoke damage, and the smoke alarm alerted the resident of the flat who wasn't in the room.

"The mild water damage was insignificant compared to the potential of what would have been a very serious fire."

The fire service started working with Oxford City Council in 2010 to make the tower blocks safer, after a number of fatal fires in similar buildings nationally.

This was before the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London in 2017, after which Oxford tower block residents questioned if they were safe.

READ AGAIN: Fears over tower safety despite council assurances

Mike Rowley, Oxford City Council's cabinet member for affordable housing, said: "Oxford City Council’s tower blocks are fitted with sprinkler fire control systems and they have proved their worth in this case.

"We are now working to ensure the building is returned to normal use as soon as possible.

"The city council is currently offering help to the resident of the affected apartment."

This month the fire service is running a campaign specifically warning of the dangers of cooking fires.

Their Facebook post said: "[We are] reminding householders of the devastating impact of kitchen fires, and this incident shows both the importance of cooking safely and how safety measures can save lives.

"Firefighters will extinguish the flames quickly, but the material and human damage can be lifelong and life-changing.

"We all know how easy it is to get distracted by the phone ringing, the doorbell going, kids running around, or a TV programme catching your attention.

"Whatever the reason, any distraction - even if it’s momentary - can be disastrous."