RFL grease fire extinguished, could have been worse


By David Wright – dwright@aimmediamidwest.com

An apparent grease fire in the kitchen of a Cinderella Drive home in the Rocky Fork Lake area could have destroyed the home had it not been for a speedy response from fire crews, according to Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Public Information Officer Branden Jackman.

Jackman told The Times-Gazette that the fire, which occurred Monday afternoon, appeared to have been caused by an overheated pan of oil.

After the initial dispatch, emergency crews were informed en route that the homeowner had extinguished the fire, but on arrival, firemen saw heavy smoke coming from the home and the call was upgraded to a full-structure fire response, Jackman said.

“Our crews got on scene quickly and made an absolutely awesome stop of the fire, and contained it to the section of the house around the kitchen,” he said.

According to Jackman, other portions of the house had minor smoke damage, but no possessions were lost other than some items in the kitchen. Jackman said crews were on scene within eight minutes of the initial call.

“With the investigation after the fact and looking at the burn patterns, you can see the angle burning up the wall,” Jackman said. “That’s called a ‘V’ pattern, and we can use that to track the fire right back to where it started… The seat of the fire pointed to the back burner of the stove.”

According to Jackman, the homeowner told emergency crews that they had set a pot of water on the front burner, but instead of turning on the front burner, they turned on the back burner, where there was a pan of oil.

“So, in essence, it was a grease fire,” Jackman said.

According to Jackman, grease fires start when oil or grease reaches about 300-350 degrees and self-ignites.

Jackman said it’s never a good idea to put water on a grease fire, since that will only cause it to spread.

“If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, the best plan of action is to turn the burner off and put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let it sit for 20-30 minutes so the heat starts to dissipate,” Jackman said. “You can use a cookie sheet or a tight-fitting lid, anything to cap the pan if you can do it safely.”

Jackman said he does not advise putting flour on grease fires, since flour burns as well.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.