Fire chief advises residents on grease firesSingle Classified

A grease fire at the George B. Lewis No. 1 senior housing complex in Naugatuck, seen here during the incident, was the third grease fire this month that the Naugatuck Fire Department has extinguished. The department is urging residents to take safety precautions when cooking and reminding them of the proper procedures for putting out small grease fires. –RA ARCHIVE

A grease fire at the George B. Lewis No. 1 senior housing complex in Naugatuck, seen here during the incident, was the third grease fire this month that the Naugatuck Fire Department has extinguished. The department is urging residents to take safety precautions when cooking and reminding them of the proper procedures for putting out small grease fires. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — A kitchen grease fire at the George B. Lewis No. 1 senior housing complex on Osborn Road Wednesday was the third such fire in a month and the second in a week that the Naugatuck Fire Department has extinguished.

Though two were very minor, the third last week left a resident with second-degree and third-degree burns on his arms and legs, Fire Chief Ken Hanks said. Wednesday’s fire was quickly extinguished, and the man involved sustained minor burns on his hands, Hanks said.

Hanks is trying to get the message out to residents about the proper way to extinguish a grease fire on a stovetop.

“Grease fires can start as the grease overheats, which can happen if a pan is left unattended,” he said. “The best course of action is to put a cover on it, turn off the heat and call 911.”

He said the injuries have been related to people moving a pan while it’s on fire and dropping it or putting water on it, which Hanks said “is the absolute worst thing you can do.”

If the fire is too large, people are urged to just get out and call 911, according to the National Fire Protection Association. They are urged to close the door behind them to help contain the fire.

“If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out,” the NFPA states.

The association also urges people to keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires by sliding the lid over the pan.

The NFPA states that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in a kitchen is unattended cooking, the association states.

The organization urges people to stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food, and to check food regularly.

For more fire safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org.