Fire department offers tips on preventing oven fires

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Maryland Heights Fire Protection District receives a good number of calls for oven fires. According to a district spokesman, many of these fires can be avoided.

Captain Robert Daus, Maryland Heights Fire Protection District, a recent house fire was sparked in the oven.

“It started from food being left in there too long,” he said. “The grease caught fire inside the oven.”

Daus says the fire district gets a good amount of calls for oven fires. In this case, the homeowner didn’t open the oven door. That was the right move, according to Daus.

Unfortunately, there was too much smoke to simply shut the oven off. Instead, the homeowner raced outside and dialed 911.

“Look through the window and see a fire in there. If you turn the oven off, a lot of times it won’t sustain the fire because it needs fuel and heat from the oven,” Daus said. “The minute you remove that, it will burn out.”

And you don’t want to open the door because the oxygen would ignite a larger fire.

Captain Daus says it’s a good idea to have an ABC extinguisher in the house. If you do, that extinguisher can take care of the oven fire.

“In this case, the oven was left on and the fire kept expanding,” he said. “It can get even get outside the oven as well.”

Another important thing to consider is what’s inside your oven before starting it.

“We're out on them often. People store things in ovens that shouldn’t be in ovens,” Daus said. “Apartments get cramped for storage.”

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