An off-duty firefighter has been praised for his quick-thinking actions after a deep fat fryer went up in flames at a holiday centre, leaving one person needing medical attention.

Firefighters were called to Manor Farm Bar and Takeaway at Manor Farm Holiday Centre, Charmouth, on Saturday evening, where they tackled a fire in a restaurant kitchen.

Firefighter Steve Pearce, from Bath, was camping at the site when the fire broke out and says he spotted black smoke coming from the chimney and rushed to help.

The 53-year-old said: “We noticed lots of thick, black smoke coming from the chimney and everyone gathered around. I’m in the fire brigade myself so tried to help put it out. People were panicking a little bit so I asked if they had a fire blanket and to get it so I could throw it over the top of it.

“Eventually, they found one and I got in there and put it over about three quarters of the fire, which doused it a bit. It bought some time and prevented it from spreading.

“It could have been a lot worse if it had spread.”

It is believed that the fire started from a fryer in the kitchen.

One person was taken to hospital following the incident, which saw crews from Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Axminster, Bridport, Maiden Newton and Beaminster battle the blaze. They extinguished the fire using six breathing apparatus, foam, fire blankets and three dry powder extinguishers.

Ann Baker, who was camping at the site with husband Nick, said: “I saw lots of smoke coming from the roof and so went outside and there was smoke pouring out from the roof tiles. Steve went over and used a fire blanket over the flames. It’s very lucky it wasn’t worse. It was bad.”

Nick Baker added: “I heard the chip pan caught fire. It was a big one. Steve went over and threw the blanket on it to keep it under control until the fire brigade got here. There was lots of smoke and smoke damage afterwards. The kitchen was black. They were very lucky. Steve was the hero.”

Camper Richard Laugharne praised the response of the fire service.

He said: “The fire service got here very quickly and were coming from everywhere - left and right - but they got it under control quickly.”

A staff member said the fire ‘could have been a lot worse,’ adding: “The damage was pretty minimal compared to what it could have been. There is smoke damage to the kitchen but luckily it did not reach the club house. It could have been a lot worse.”

Site manager Louise Chipperfield said: “We think it was a chip pan fire in the kitchen. The fire service arrived after about 10 minutes and nobody was hurt. The kitchen is very smoky and the smoke has caused damage.”

A spokesman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews attended The Street in Charmouth shortly after 5pm on Saturday. They said one person was taken to hospital as a precaution.