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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Deep Fryer Ignites Glenn Dale House Fire

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

Just before 3:00 pm, Sunday, July 15, firefighters battled a fire in a Glenn Dale home that sent one firefighter to the hospital and displaced the family.  Firefighters responded to the 4400 block of Huntchase Drive and arrived to find fire showing from one side of the house.  The fire appears to have started where a deep fryer was being used and placed too close to the house.  The fire burned up the side of the house and eventually extending into the roof and attic area.  Firefighters had the fire extinguished within 15 minutes of arrival.  One firefighter experienced a minor heat related illness and was treated and released from an area hospital.

The fire loss is estimated at $75,000 and the family of two will be displaced.

Turkey deep fryers are commonly used during the Thanksgiving Holiday, however, their popularity has grown and we see fryers being used year round.  If you must use a deep fryer the men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department recommend the following safety tips”

   Turkey deep fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.  A minimum of 3 feet away from combustibles, including your house, and farther away if possible.
   Never use deep fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
   Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
   Never leave the fryer unattended.  Most units do not have thermostat controls.  If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
   Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use.  The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
   To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
   Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.  If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
   Make sure the food is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
   Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.  Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.  If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher.  If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

Conditions on arrival.  Photo by Battalion Chief Thomas James

The fire started on the ground level where a turkey deep fryer was being used.  Photo by Battalion Chief Thomas James

The fire started on the ground level where a turkey deep fryer was being used.  Photo by Battalion Chief Thomas James