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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cooking Fire Safety

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Cooking Fire Safety

Citizens and residents are reminded to exercise common sense fire safety when cooking and keep Safety First.  In 2012,  there have been two civilian deaths in unrelated fire related incidents in Prince George's County, sadly, each of these tragic deaths occurred accidentally and involved cooking.  Over the past 24 hours, there have been three home fires with the cause attributed to cooking. Of note is "unattended cooking" which is the leading cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince George's County and across the Country.

This morning at around 1:45 am, a fire started by unattended cooking caused $10,000 in damages and displaced the family at a single family home in the 12400 block of Poplar View Drive in Glenn Dale.  No injuries were reported.

On Friday afternoon, March 2, unattended cooking caused a fire at a single family home in the 7400 block of Jefferson Street in Lanham. The fire caused an estimated $10,000 in fire loss.  No injuries were reported, however, the family was displaced.

Also on Friday, just after 11:00 pm, a fire in a single family home in the 4900 block of Temple Hill Road was caused by unattended cooking and caused $25,000 in estimated fire loss.  The family was displaced and making their own arrangements for shelter.  No injuries reported.  

The combined career, civilian and volunteer personnel of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department ask that you keep safety first and remember these tips when you cook.

* Watch What You Heat


  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
     Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
* SOURCE: United States Fire Administration

Test smoke alarms on the first day of every month - Safety First Day of the Month.

Provide your smoke alarms and CO detector with fresh batteries when you adjust your clocks on 
March 11,  Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery.

Remember - Safety First - Ensures Everyone Goes Home.

Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin O'Toole and Ethan Sorrell Update

Kevin O'Toole
One week after 22-year-old Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin O'Toole sustained burns over 50% of his body he remains in "Critical but stable" condition in the Burn Unit at Medstar at the Washington Hospital Center.

He had a couple of skin graphs procedures during the week and on Friday he went through a "scrubbing" of his burn injuries.  Kevin also had a physical therapy session and was able to raise his hands over his head.  He is taking strolls around the Burn Unit with his nurse and physical therapy staff and is said to be doing quite well.

Friends, family, co-workers and the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation continue to keep Kevin and his parents company as they progress through the recovery process.

Ethan Sorrell is spending some time in North Carolina with his family after being released on Tuesday evening.  He is expected to return to Prince George's County later this week for scheduled medical appointments at the Burn Center.  Ethan will also be spending considerable time with his firefighting partner Kevin.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
Twitter @PGFDPIO