The first arriving engine officer reported dark, heavy smoke conditions at the front side of the apartment coming from the doorways and windows. Police officers at the scene reported the possibility of people trapped inside.
The fire was quickly extinguished. One apartment sustained heavy fire damage. Four additional apartments were affected by smoke damage. One person was transported by National EMS to the hospital because of smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.
The fire is believed to have originated in the kitchen and was accidental in nature. Fire Chief Jeffrey Scarbrough commended the efforts of the firefighters for quickly extinguishing the fire before it caused much more damage and for working hard to assure no hidden fires could rekindle and cause further damage to the surrounding apartments. “Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries,” he said. “It is very important to always keep an eye on what you are cooking and to never leave the food you are cooking unattended.”
The Athens-Clarke County Fire Department offers following tips related to cooking safety:
- Keep an eye on what you fry. Most cooking fires start when someone is frying food.
- Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
- Make sure you are awake and alert. Alcohol and some drugs can make you sleepy.
- Wear short sleeves or roll them up so they don’t catch on fire.
- Make sure children and pets stay at least 3 feet away from a hot stove.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump them or pull them over.
- Move things that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper, and curtains.