Chattanooga teen burned in kitchen fire
A Chattanooga teen was burned in a grease fire. Firefighters say in the panic, she made the wrong move, and it landed her in an Augusta, Georgia burn center.
The 16-year-old girl was at her Orchard Knob Avenue home alone around 7 p.m. Sunday, when she started to cook herself something on the stove. Within seconds, she was covered in burning grease, with no phone and one around to help.
"I heard somebody crying and I came to the door and saw the little girl," neighbor Aleah Walker said.
Neighbor Aleah Walker says the teen was running door to door on Orchard Knob Avenue, crying for help, covered in burns and blisters.
"Her hands, the blister had done popped from her knocking on the neighbor's door trying to get some help," Walker said.
When Aleah came out, the girl's mom pulled up, quickly seeing her daughter in hysterics, and asked Aleah to call 911.
"Her left side was burnt. Her arm, her leg, and her left hand was burned. It was blistered up. Her jewelry was melted to her hand and everything," Walker said.
An estimated 10-percent of the teen's body is covered in first and second degree burns.
"Very often the people are seriously burnt, sometimes even killed in the process," Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesperson Bruce Garner said.
Doctors say grease burns can vary in severity, and add the hands are among one of the most sensitive areas to burn.
"Grease burns in particular, can be concerning because you can imagine, the grease doesn't get off the skin as easily as some other things might," Erlanger emergency room resident, Dr. Clinkscales said.
The teen told fire crews she'd just turned the stove on to warm up grease to cook in, when it caught fire. She threw water on it in an attempt to put it out.
"Whenever you put water on a grease fire, basically it's like an explosion and it just goes outward and splatter bits of grease everywhere. It's exactly the wrong thing to do," Garner said.
Instead, firefighters say to use an oven mitt to put a lid over the pan, move it off the stove, and then turn the stove off. No water. No fire extinguisher. No baking soda.
If you can't do that, get out and call 911.
"Taking something like this, which is basically a tragic incident, and trying to get the word out as best we can," Garner said.
The CFD says they see mistakes like this often enough. They travel to schools, daycares and recreation centers teaching kids how to properly react year-round.
Again, the teen is being treated in a burn center in Augusta, Georgia and her injuries are not considered life-threatening.
About $2,000 in property damage was done.
Her neighbors say the girl and her mom just move in a couple weeks ago.