UK firefighters called after student tries to make toastie by turning toaster on its side

By Charlie Herbert

February 15, 2023 at 4:26pm


Turns out, this is an awful idea.

Dozens of fire fighters were called to a blaze at university accommodation after a group of students tried to make a cheese toastie by turning a toaster on its side.

Student life is all about learning some independence and for many it's the first time they've ever lived apart from their parents.

Many like to find the little hacks to make their life easier, whether its putting tin foil over a baking tray so you don't have to wash it up, or popping to the supermarket at just the right time on a Sunday to pick up all the reduced items.

But this is one life hack that you absolutely should not try.

A group of students at Avery Hill road accommodation who presumably did not own a Breville decided that the second best way to make a toastie was to turn their toaster on its side and place a cheese sandwich in it.

 Just use a Breville next time lads (London Fire Brigade)

What resulted was a fire that required four fire engines and around 25 firefighters to get it under control.

London Fire Brigade said they had been called at 10:40 and the fire was under control by 11:18.

The brigade said that part of the ground floor of a three-storey block had been damaged by fire, but there were no reports of any injuries.

In a tweet sharing footage from the wrecked kitchen following the blaze, London Fire Brigade said: "This was the aftermath of a fire at a student accommodation block in #AveryHill caused by a toaster placed on its side to make cheese on toast. Please don't do this - only use electrical products for their designated use."

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson gave more detail about how exactly the fire started.

They said it was caused the appliance had been left "cooking unattended," and explained that placing the toaster on its side generates heat onto the work surface and can cause crumbs at the bottom of the toaster to get onto the hot elements and ignite.

The spokesperson continued: "Only use electrical products for their designated use. Toasters need to be kept clean to prevent fires and are not designed to be used on their side.

"It’s also really important that you always check toasters and other appliances are turned off and unplugged when not in use, unless they’re designed to be left on, like your fridge or freezer.


"Keep clutter to a minimum on your kitchen work surfaces especially near toasters and hobs as they can accidentally switch them on or catch fire."

Header image via Twitter/London Fire Brigade