Unattended cooking fire causes $125,000 damage

St. Catharines Fire Department CrestCity of St. Catharines press release – Acting Fire Chief Jeff McCormick is urging residents to be especially careful when cooking and to make sure they pay attention to what’s happening on their stoves after a kitchen fire caused an estimated $125,000 damage to a family’s home over the weekend.

“We urge residents to never leave their cooking unattended,” said the acting fire chief. “Careless cooking is a leading cause of house fires in Ontario and we are reminding everyone to be careful when working in the kitchen.”

St. Catharines firefighters responded to reports of a house fire at 5:33 p.m. Friday, June 14/2019, at 23 Ida St. On arrival, firefighters found heavy black smoke spewing from inside the home and were advised there was a kitchen fire at the rear of the building. Firefighters extinguished the fire quickly, but damage to the home was extensive and is estimated at $125,000. The acting fire chief said the investigation into the fire determined the cause to be unattended cooking involving a pot of oil.

No injuries were reported.

Residents must stay alert when cooking, especially during busier times when the bustle of life can be distracting.

“Always stay in the kitchen while cooking,” said McCormick. “When you leave the kitchen, make sure you turn off the stove. If you’re not finished cooking but have to leave the kitchen, take a potholder or spatula to remind yourself you still have something on the stove.”

Residents can stay fire-safe by making sure they have properly installed and working smoke alarms and working carbon monoxide alarms as required by law.

“Ensuring working smoke alarms are installed in accordance with manufacture’s instructions are proven to save lives and are required by law.”

Visit www.stcatharines.ca/FireSafety for more information about home fire safety.

In an unrelated incident at 5:57 p.m. Saturday, June 15/2019, St. Catharines firefighters responded to reports of fire at Queenchester Terrace, a residential care facility at 211 Queenston St. On arrival, firefighters found all the occupants of the group home evacuated and located the fire in a resident’s room in at the basement level. The building’s sprinkler system helped control the fire and prevented its spread beyond the room of origin. The building had working smoke alarms. No injuries were reported and all residents were able to return to the building.

The acting fire chief said the Office of the Fire Marshal was notified as part of the standard protocol for fires in Vulnerable Occupancies such as the Queenchester group home.


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