CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Fire Department (CFD) is crediting a sprinkler system with preventing kitchen fire from spreading to a 24-unit apartment building.
According to CFD, dispatch received a call shortly before 3:00 a.m. Monday indicating a fire alarm had been activated at The Avenues at Verdier Pointe Apartments. The call was upgraded to a possible structure fire, prompting CFD, Saint Andrews Fire, Johns Island Fire, Charleston County EMS, and the Charleston Police Department to respond.
Crews on the scene found remnants of a kitchen fire in a third-floor apartment. Though it had been mostly contained by the sprinkler system, crews ensured the fire was out, controlled water to the sprinkler, and ventilated smoke from the building.
Investigators determined that a pot of grease was left burning on the stove, which activated the smoke alarm. A resident moved the pot to the sink and tried to extinguish the fire with flour, which caused the fire to grow, at which point the sprinkler system in the kitchen was activated.
No injuries were reported. The fire damage was mostly contained to one apartment, with six apartments suffering from minor water damage.
CFD offered the following tips:
- Don’t try to extinguish grease fires with water, flour, or similar items.
- To extinguish a grease fire, smother it. Keep a pot lid nearby and cover the fire. Leave the pot/pan in place until the fire is out and it cools.
- Prepare an escape plan.
- Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working properly.