According to Springfield Fire Department’s Cara Erwin, the first fire occurred around 7 p.m. when a tenant was heating oil on a stove and it caught fire. The tenant threw water on the oil, causing the fire to spread.
After the woman ran out of the apartment, the sprinkler system was activated and the fire was extinguished.
17 minutes later, another fire was reported in another apartment complex. Again in this situation, a tenant was heating oil on a stove when it caught fire.
Erwin says, although it is not recommended to use water on a grease fire, the tenant was able to put out the fire by using water from the sink.
The third cooking fire was called an hour later and involved a microwave.
“Fortunately, all three turned out to be relatively minor fires,” says Erwin in a news release. “But the common cause highlights the importance of taking precautions while cooking.”
Here are some tips the Springfield Fire Department has regarding the prevention of kitchen fires:
•Always stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stove
•Never leave home while using the oven.
•Be sure to use a timer while cooking.
•Keep children and pets out of the kitchen while cooking.
•Keep anything that can burn (oven mits, paper towels, food packaging, etc.) away from the stove and other heat sources.
•In case of a grease fire that is small and contained pan, put a tight fitting lid over top, turn off the heat and evacuate the building.
•In the case of an oven or microwave fire, keep the door closed, turn off or unplug if possible and evacuate the building.
The Springfield Fire Department also encourages occupants of all rental properties to know where the closest fire extinguisher is and learn how to use it.
For training opportunities, contact the Springfield Fire Department at 417-864-1500.
Springfield firefighters will visit each of these apartment complexes at their earliest convenience, to deliver information about how to prevent future apartment fires.
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