Tips to avoid Thanksgiving fire danger

If you add water to a stove top grease fire, what happens next is a fireball bursting across your kitchen.

It can take just minutes for grease in a pot to ignite, but seconds to turn the situation dangerous if you try to douse the flames with water.

The potential to be hurt or killed is real.

Julia Ancrum wanted to get one last dose of scent from one of her favorite candles, so she improvised.  Ancrum says, "I went ahead and took the candle and stuck it in a pot."

What happened next was a nightmare. Ancrum says, "It kept flaming up very high, and I took it and hit with water and it went all the way up to the ceiling."

Ancrum was lucky, she was not hurt. But her kitchen was destroyed and her home needed $200,000 in repairs.

Captain Forrest Smith with the Mesa Fire Department says the holiday can be a dangerous time in the kitchen. Smith says, "What typically happens is you have family and friends over and usually you have one person stuck in the kitchen, that is where we see those scenarios where you have a great deal of smoke and these fires start to break out."

Smith says when people see a fire in their oven they tend to want to open it and add water. He says keep the door closed and shut off the power and gas if it's safe to do so.

For stove top fires Smith says use oven mitts and grab the pot lid to safely and simply smother the fire. Smith also suggests keeping a fire extinguisher close by and make sure towels stay away from burners.

Ancrum has installed a product called Stove Top Fire Stop . If a fire flames up on the stove top, the canister above the fire opens up when it reaches a certain temperature and drops flame retardant.

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