NEW data has revealed that Largs and North Coast towns and villages suffered a total of 20 accidental house fires between April and December 2022 - including one tragic loss of life.

The News submitted a Freedom of Information request which revealed a fatality in Warren Park Mews and a number of other blazes.

The vast majority of call outs were in response to incidents in kitchens.

The North Coast area of Largs, Fairlie, Millport, Skelmorlie and West Kilbride had more fires than any other part of North Ayrshire.

Local councillor Tom Marshall says the figures are concerning.

He added: "I thought the days of house fires in kitchens from people using deep fat fryers and losing control of them were long gone. These stats are worrying."

Area Commander Ian McMeekin is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Local Senior Officer for East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire.

He said: "We know that distraction can play a significant role in the occurrence of accidental house fires, as can cooking after drinking alcohol.

"I would encourage anyone who has someone elderly or vulnerable in their life to consider if a free home fire safety visit could be of assistance."