Missouri firefighters offer safety tips for holiday cooking

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O’FALLON, Mo. — Firefighters in O’Fallon, Missouri, are providing safety tips to keep cooks safe this Thanksgiving. They said kitchen fires happen the most during this holiday, and they can happen in seconds. 

“Everybody thinks that this happens to somebody else, but I can tell you it happens right here in our community,” said O’Fallon Assistant Fire Chief Andy Parrish.

Parrish said his fire district still gets calls year and after year for kitchen fires. He said the biggest catalyst for those fires is grease.

“Do not throw water onto a grease fire. Also, have pot covers close by so if you do have a fire, you can easily cover that up,” Parrish added.

Parrish said there are more than thirty thousand homes in the district. So, each year they get several calls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He said one of those calls was very serious. 

“They had a grease fire and they panicked and they took the pan and walked across through the kitchen at the front door. The worst part about that was the person was burned with second-degree burns,” Parrish recalled. 

“I think people forget sometimes and in the heat of the moment — no pun intended– they act irrationally,” Firefighter Blake Coppel told FOX 2.

Coppel said, if your bird is ablaze, he said to keep the oven door closed until the fire goes out.

“Keep that door closed, call the fire department, and will come out and look at it,” Coppel added. 

Parish said it’s also good to keep a fire extinguisher nearby and to keep food, gloves, and other items away from the stove. 

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