Cooking Fire in Lake Wales Prompts Safety Reminder
Bartow, Fla. (March 7, 2017) — Cooking french fries changed three people’s lives in Polk County Monday afternoon, after hot grease caught items near the stove on fire. Polk County Fire Rescue was called to 3019 Fast Trot Trail in Lake Wales around 5:30 p.m. When firefighters arrived, smoke was showing and all occupants were out of the structure and accounted for. A man who was in the home was transported to Lake Wales Medical Center for minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Once firefighters entered the home, there was heavy smoke with low visibility. Firefighters located the source of the fire and extinguished it. Fire was found around the stove and going up the wall towards ceiling. Parts of the ceiling and wall were removed by firefighters to make sure the fire didn’t spread to other areas of the home.
Once the fire threat was over, Polk County firefighters assisted the family gather personal belongings. Firefighters also brought out two dogs that were in the home.
The Red Cross was called to assist two females and one male who lived at the home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
What you should know
- 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, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen 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 have 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.
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 911 from outside.
Polk County residents who would like someone from the Polk County Fire Rescue Public Education Unit to speak to your group about fire and cooking safety, email [email protected].