Unattended Cooking Fire Damages Apartment, Firefighters Rescue Cat
Unattended cooking caused a fire that damaged an apartment in the 5900 block of Selinsky. The Houston Fire Department was dispatched to the fire about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Firefighters arrived on scene within five minutes and found smoke coming from one unit of a one-story apartment building. Both occupants were able to safely escape and the apartment’s smoke detectors had been activated.
One cat was found by firefighters and treated with oxygen. The cat survived. There were no other reported injuries. Approximately 35 firefighters responded to the incident which was tapped out in 15 minutes. The fire caused about $34 thousand in damage.
HFD reminds residents that cooking is the number one cause of residential fires and is preventable by following these safety tips:
- Always, have a working smoke detector!
- Over half the people attempting to extinguish a kitchen fire are injured. Often the best advice is to get everyone out of the house and call the fire department (911) from a neighbor’s house.
- Use a moderate cooking temperature
- Don't overfill the container
- If you must leave the kitchen, turn the burner off (Unattended cooking is the primary cause of kitchen fires. Over half of these are grease/oil fires.)
- Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Curious children may reach up and grab the handle, pulling the hot contents down on themselves.
- Don't position handles over another burner, it may catch on fire or burn someone who touches it.
- Wear short sleeves or tight fitting long sleeves when cooking to reduce a clothing fire hazard.
- Shield yourself from scalding steam when lifting lids from hot pans.
- Make sure pot holders are not too close to the stove. They could catch fire!
- Keep ovens, broilers, stove tops, and exhaust ducts free from grease.
- If there is a fire in the oven - Turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.
- Never try to move the pan, don't throw water on it, and don't put flour on it.
- If you attempt to extinguish the fire, it is best to use a class ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions - stay back 6 to 8 feet and be careful not to spray the grease out of the pan. Baking soda can also smother the fire. Fires can double in size every 30 seconds.