Fire officials: water and grease fires don't mix - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fire officials: water and grease fires don't mix

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)  --  Lavaughn Sims was working on his yard Monday evening when emergency lights lit up his street.

"Total of four trucks showed up on the scene," Sims says. "I was surprised to see four."

A portion of the house across from his, on Lawn Street, was on fire.

"One of the children was in the kitchen attempting to cook french fries, evidentially left the pot of grease unattended for awhile," Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department says.

Garner says someone tried to put out the grease fire by throwing water on it, that's exactly what you should not to do when fighting a grease fire.

"Use an oven mitt and gently try to get the lid on top of the pot and then turn the heat off," Garner says.

He says this blaze is just one in a string of recent kitchen fires.

"We've had several notable ones lately where it was a grease fire," says Garner.

Earlier this month a 41-year-old woman was badly burned when she tried to carry out a burning pot of grease at her East Brainerd apartment.

"She accidentally ran into the door and splashed the hot grease all over her, she was badly injured," explains Garner.

Last April a teenager suffered second and third degree burns when a grease fire broke out. In a panic she put the pot in the sink and poured water on it, which caused an explosion.

"Cooking is the number one cause of fires," Garner says.

Sims says the fire on his street is a good reminder of how to use safety in the kitchen.

"We usually stay in the kitchen with whatever we're cooking and we do have a fire extinguisher," Sims Says.

"That's going to go a long way toward preventing these fires from happening," adds Garner.

If a fire should occur in your kitchen Garner says when in doubt of what to do just get out.

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