North Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – Three home fires in three days in North Charleston and the fire department says they all started in the kitchen.
On Wednesday, the North Charleston Fire Department responded to an apartment fire on McKnight Street Wednesday just before noon. A burner on the stovetop had been left on and the pan of food was left unattended. The occupant found the stovetop on fire and had attempted to extinguish the fire with flour.
On Thursday, the North Charleston Fire Department responded to a home fire on Warsaw Road. The home had heavy fire damage in the kitchen and smoke damage throughout. The occupant had left the stovetop on and combustible items around the stovetop ignited.
On Friday, fire struck again just after noon. The North Charleston Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire on Attaway Street. Fire crews reported smoke visible and found a fire located under the oven. The resident reported using the oven for the first time that morning and then left the home. After an investigation, it was determined that the oven had malfunctioned.
The American Red Cross says that kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires.
“You may not think it could happen to you, but kitchen fires are far and away the leading cause of home fires,” Ben Williamson, Regional Director of Communications, American Red Cross said.
Most kitchen fires can be prevented and there are tips you can follow to make your home safer.
“You obviously never want to leave the house when you’re cooking. When you do cook make sure you are cleaning the stovetops, the counters, anything like that to prevent grease buildup…Don’t ever have anything around where you are cooking– the oven mits, any sort of wooden utensils, any plastic, anywhere near where you’re cooking because those can catch pretty quickly,” Williamson said.
Most importantly, officials say smoke alarms save live, so make sure that you have working smoke alarms in your home.
“The biggest thing is smoke alarms– to have those working in your home. Not only to have them, but to have them working. Check your batteries,” Williamson said.
If you need a smoke alarm, you can pick one up at The American Red Cross or your local fire department.