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04-30-2013 Cooking Fire Leaves Family of Seven Homeless


Everyone in the house was safely out of the house when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. Chief Eldridge said the firefighters entered the house through the front door and made their way to the fire in the kitchen. The flames were quickly extinguished, with the fire damage contained to the kitchen. No injuries were reported.

Family members told firefighters that one of the children was cooking French fries on the stove and left it unattended. When the grease in the pan ignited, someone threw some water on it in an attempt to put out the fire, which made it worse. Chief Eldridge said the family is lucky no one was injured. The fire damage was limited, with the dollar loss estimated at around $1,000. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.

Since the power had to be disconnected from the house, the family would have to stay elsewhere. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the family, which included two adults and five children.

Here are some safety tips related to cooking fires:

How and When to Fight Cooking Fires

* When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

* If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.

* Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not try to move the pan, and NEVER try to put out a grease fire with water. It can make the fire even worse and cause serious injury or death.. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.

* In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.

* If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.

* After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.

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