CAPE CORAL, Fla. --- A Cape Coral family is out of their home after a grease fire in the kitchen caused significant damage.
Around 11:15 p.m. Thursday, Cape firefighters received a 911 call about a kitchen fire at 1628 NW 5th Avenue.
The homeowner, LaToya Williams, says when she got home from work, one of her four children was cooking something on the stove using grease. Williams says she saw smoke coming from the pan and removed it from the stove, but it still ignited. "I tried using salt, but that didn't work," said Williams. "So then we tried water and it got bigger, so we just got out."
When Lt. James Hunt and Firefighter Steve Hernden arrived at the house they made an aggressive interior attack on the fire which had spread into the cabinets above the stove. The fire was extinguished within moments after arriving. Firefighters removed the burnt cabinets from the kitchen and opened up the ceiling to assure the fire never got into the attic. The combination of the rapid fire attack and the effort to overhaul the fire properly saved the rest of the one story home.
Because of the smoke and heat damage the house is uninhabitable. The Red Cross is providing shelter for the family. No one was injured.
Cape Coral firefighters remind everyone that water and grease fires do not mix. Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:
· If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner. The lack of oxygen will cause the flames to go out.
· If you can't safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don't have a lid for the pan, use a fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire - not the flames.
· If you do not have a fire extinguisher, you may consider throwing lots of baking soda on it. Salt is generally ineffective and never use flour, as the flour dust can actually ignite and make the fire worse.
· Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth. Don't swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You're likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.
· If the fire is spreading and you can't control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route.