A stovetop fire in Monroe damaged an apartment in a local complex Saturday evening, according to Lt. Bill Owens, public information officer with Monroe Fire Department.
Owens said firefighters responded to the call at West Monroe Villas, 767 Ridge Road in Monroe and were able to extinguish the fire quickly, but it did cause significant heat and smoke damage throughout the apartment.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the number one cause of fires in a home. Statistically almost 60 percent of all structure fires start in the kitchen and almost 90 percent of those fires are cooking related. MFD has a link to the NFPA website with a recommended safety checklist for cooking fire prevention.
MFD was awarded the Chesney Fallen Firefighter Memorial Grant a couple of years ago from the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) to pay for a simulator they built. The simulator demonstrates how dangerous a grease fire, such as a stovetop fire, can be if not extinguished properly. Contrary to the common perception, using water is definitely not the way to put out a grease fire. MFD uses the simulator for demonstrations at schools and events around the area in an attempt to educate people on the dangers of grease fires.
Owens said some apartments in Monroe, such as Highland Village Apartments and all the government housing around the city, have stovetop fire extinguishers, but there was not one in the apartment that had a fire Saturday evening. Stovetop Firestop is one brand that is available.
“There are several brand names and they work very well at stopping stovetop fires,” Owens said.