Pan of cooking oil causes Annandale house fire

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This is a news release from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department published verbatim.

On Sunday, December 9 at approximately 2:10 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported house fire in the 3800 block of Ivydale Drive in the Annandale section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from the front of a one-story, single family home. Crews quickly located and extinguished a fire located in the kitchen area. One occupant sustained a minor burn injury. EMS personnel evaluated the occupant, but the occupant declined transport to the hospital. One firefighter sustained a minor ankle injury which necessitated medical evaluation at the hospital.

There was one occupant home at the time of the fire who was alerted to the fire by a working smoke alarm. The occupant called 9-1-1 and attempted to extinguish the fire before safely evacuating the home.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen area. The fire was caused by an unattended pan of cooking oil left on the stove.

Three occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be $93,750.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Kitchen Safety Tips

◾Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

◾Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.

◾Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.

◾Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

◾Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.

◾Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.

◾Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.

◾Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.

◾If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

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