Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department is urging the community to cook with caution after responding to two cooking fires in just two days.
MFRD's Engines 1 and 3 and Rescue 8 responded to a fire at a quadruplex on Jordan Avenue Sunday evening. According to the report, a resident in one of the units lifted the lid off a pan of grease that was being heated and received a flash burn to the hand. The resident used an extinguisher to put the fire out. The injured resident was taken by his girlfriend to seek medical attention for the burn.
On Wednesday morning around 11:45, MFRD's Ladders 1 and 8 and Engine 1 responded to a fire call at 1345 Wenlon Drive (Raiders Ridge Apartments). A pan of grease caught fire on the stove and it appeared the resident moved it to the floor. The resident was burned and taken to Saint Thomas Rutherford prior to MFRD's arrival. When units arrived on scene, they discovered the pan on the kitchen floor covered in flour. The fire was out.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop.
"The important thing to remember is, if you have a pot or pan that catches fire on the stove, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stove," said Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Bartlett. He added, "Leave the lid on until it has cooled completely before moving it. Attempting to move the pan before it has cooled could lead to severe burns."
"If you are unable to seal the fire with the lid, you should immediately exit your home, closing the door behind you when you leave to help contain the fire," Bartlett continued. "As soon as you get a safe distance, dial 9-1-1."
MFRD has already responded to a total of 13 cooking fires this year. "Most of these fires could have been avoided by following some simples rules of cooking safety," said Bartlett.
Cooking Safety Tips from the NFPA:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains away from your stovetop.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
For more information on cooking safety, visit MFRD's website at www.murfreesborotn.gov.