Thanksgiving brings increase in cooking fires, fire department says

Southeast Region

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- The Thanksgiving holiday had a lot of people cooking. Unfortunately, it could also mean an increase in house fires.

The Westview-Fairforest Fire Department said the most common fires they see are cooking fires. They said the number of calls all depends on how safe people are.

“Lady had something she was cooking in the oven, it spilled over, started a fire inside the oven. It was contained to the oven, so there was no damage to the house, other than inside the oven,” said Captain Robert Grizzle.

Captain Robert Grizzle said this time of the year, calls tend to spike. On an average day, they get 10-15 calls. On days like Thanksgiving, he said they hear the same call over and over again.

“Fire alarms, some of those have been from cooking. When the comments come in, it’s the ovens on fire. The fire alarms’ going off due to cooking,” said Grizzle.

Firefighter Ben Diffie said the damage done by kitchen fires depends on how long it takes someone to notice it.

“It depends how attentive they are to their cooking as far as how fast that’s going to spread. Because there’s always that delay between calling us and us getting there,” said Diffie.

Diffie said their shift usually tends to get busier at nighttime on Thanksgiving. But, when they’re not fighting fires, they try to celebrate the holiday with one another.

“This is a family to us. So, you know, we get together and cook our meals. We try to make it as similar to if we were off as we can,” said Diffie.

Diffie said holiday, or not, they have a job to do and they ultimately just want Thanksgiving to become a safer holiday for everyone.

Diffie shares some ways to be safer are defrosting your turkey, cleaning the oven, and paying attention to what’s on the stove.

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