Cooking Fires are the #1 Cause of Home Fires and Injuries
Stamford, CT. 12/02/18: A late morning Downtown apartment fire damaged an apartment on Clinton Avenue. At 11:40 AM the city 9-1-1 center received an automatic fire alarm for 40 Clinton Avenue, a downtown high rise apartment building. Arriving firefighters were advised that water was coming from an apartment on the fifth floor. When firefighters arrived on the floor they encountered a smoke condition and found an activated sprinkler operating in an apartment. Additional companies were called to the scene while firefighters stretched a hoseline from the standpipe to the fire apartment. It was discovered that cooking oil had ignited and, when the occupant attempted to extinguish the fire with water, the fire flared up and activated a sprinkler overhead and fire was extinguished. The fire was declared under control at 11:52 AM. The occupant of the apartment had evacuated prior to fire department arrival and suffered no injuries. Minor fire damage but significant water damage occured in the fire apartment with water damage extending from the fifth floor to the ground floor. Firefighters performed salvage operations on several floors to remove water. The two occupants of the apartment were displaced and will be staying with friends and family. A total of four engine companies, one truck company, the heavy rescue company, and the duty deputy chief responded with a total of 27 firefighters. Stamford Police responded as well to provide traffic control. The city fire marshal's office responded for cause and origin determination. The final fire department unit left the scene at 1:00 PM.
Readers are reminded to use caution when cooking as, per the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Fires started by frying dominate all the other causes of cooking fires so extreme caustion must be taken.
Safety considerations for cooking with oil
- 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 the fire department from outside using 9-1-1.
What you should know about home cooking safety 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.
Incident Details (if applicable):
Incident Number: 18-10741
Incident Location: 40 Clinton Avenue, Stamford, Connecticut 06901
Incident Date: 2018-12-02 11:40:00.0
Deputy Fire Chief Patrick J. Tripodi