A kitchen fire, set off by grease, caused $40,000 in damage Thursday to a Westminster home. The fire started about 5:40 p.m. in the 3300 block of West 94th Avenue and when firefighters arrived at the one-story home, light smoke was coming out of a roof-mounted swamp cooler.
The residents had evacuated before the firefighters arrived, there were no serious injuries. Firefighters found a back door open and quickly dosed the kitchen fire, which had caused heavy damage in the room. Other parts of the house sustained smoke damage.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking caused 44% of reported home fires in 2010. Cooking was involved in an estimated 156,400 home structure resulting in 420 deaths, 5,310 injuries and $993 million in direct property damage.
The NFPA provides the following safety tips for kitchen fires:
- 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.
If you find yourself facing a cooking fire:
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.