Cooking Fires On the Rise

9 years 8 months 1 week ago October 20, 2007 Oct 20, 2007 Saturday, October 20 2007 Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:11:05 AM CDT in News
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The Columbia Fire Department says most of the fires were due to unattended cooking.

A grease fire on Friday morning displaced one resident from her home.

25-year-old Ella Garrett stepped outside to talk on the phone while she was cooking. A few minutes later, her house was on fire. 

Over the past month, there have been many similar cases, all due to unattended cooking. Neighbors in the area say they've experienced their own cooking problems.

"There has been a little more experiences with it in these areas, but at the same time I think it could happen to the best of us," said Laura Miller, neighbor of Garrett.

Chief Sapp with the Columbia Fire Department says if fire safety is forgotten, people can get hurt.

"It's not just the people that are in that one apartment that are in danger. You now bring other people into the danger area as well," Sapp said.

During the month of October, officials of the Columbia Fire Department provide courses to help with fire safety. Sapp said there are several tips a person can use to prevent these types of accidents.

First, a person should never leave the cooking area. Second, always double check  that you turned off all burners. And most importantly - never throw water on a cooking fire.

Miller said, "I've made that mistake once, and that almost caught my place on fire."

For now, none of the residents involved in the fires are back home. Officials say the four fires are responsible for $100,000 in damages.

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