Teen cooking with oil causes house fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Teen cooking with oil causes house fire

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A teenager trying to make french fries caused a fire on Roberts Road, Monday afternoon. 

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a house fire in the 400 block of Roberts Road around 2 p.m. Monday. Upon arrival firefighters noticed heavy smoke coming from the home. Firefighters were able to locate the fire in the kitchen and worked quickly to get the fire out. 

A 15-year old that lived at the house told firefighters he was heating up cooking oil to cook some french fries when the hot oil boiled over and ignited. The ten said he carried the pot out of the kitchen, but the fire had already spread to the kitchen cabinets.

The teen was treated on scene with minor burns to his fingers by Hamilton County EMS and was not transported to the hospital. 

Chief Chris Willmore says the estimated dollar loss is $5000. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the four people who live in the house. 

The fire damage was contained to the kitchen, but the rest of the house had some smoke damage. The cause of the fire is being ruled accidental. 


Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Here are some basic safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to keep in mind when cooking with oil:

Safety Considerations for Cooking with Oil:

Oil is a key ingredient found in the majority of today’s kitchens. Whether a recipe calls for frying or sautéing, we include oil in almost all of our daily cooking. When using any of the many oils to prepare your meals like olive, canola, corn or soybean, consider the following safety tips when cooking: 

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.  
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