Leaving chip pans unattended is one of the most common causes of accidental house fires, according to Cleveland Fire Service.
Les Jones, head of community safety, warned Teesside students of the dangers of putting on chips for a midnight snack after a night out.
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Dr Jessica McCarrick, a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology, thinks more should be done to support male victims.
The commendations were awarded in recognition of an outstanding response to a serious house fire in Bishop Auckland in May.
Corporal Josh Hoole was on pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants' Battle Course when he collapsed during a training run Wales.