Multiple fire engines, ambulances respond to smoke-filled apartment in St. George

ST. GEORGE — Meat burning on a stove inside an apartment triggered a response in which fire engines, ambulances and other emergency vehicles lined a residential street Friday evening.

Firefighters wrapping up the scene of a structure fire at an apartment complex on 1100 South that turns out to be food burning on the stove, St. George, Utah, Aug. 30, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly after 9 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a possible structure fire at an apartment complex in the 500 block of 1100 South after a neighbor called 911 reporting smoke coming from one of the ground-floor apartments,  St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said.

Firefighters arrived to find the apartment full of smoke, and once they made it to the kitchen area, discovered it was the byproduct of food burning on the stove, which created heavy smoke that filled the apartment but did not produce flames.

The activity brought clusters of neighbors out from their homes to witness the scene.

No lines or hoses were needed, Guard said, and the situation was handled quickly.

The situation could have escalated since the residents were not home at the time, “so it was good the neighbor called in when they did,” Guard said.

No injuries were reported.

Kitchen fires 

An analysis of all fires reported between 2012-2016 by the National Fire Protection Agency revealed that unattended cooking was the leading cause of all cooking fires and casualties.

The research also showed that on average, more than 470 home cooking fires are reported each day nationwide, and fire departments responded to an average of 170,000 kitchen fires each year, the agency says.

Kitchen fires were also responsible for more than 500 civilian deaths and 5,200 injuries in addition to causing more than $1 billion in direct property damage each year.

Fires caused by cooking typically peak at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Moreover, more than half of the fires started on ranges or cooktops which also caused 85% of the deaths and nearly 80% of the injuries.

The analysis also showed that households with an electric range were at higher risk for cooking fires than those with gas ranges.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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