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From Butterball to fireball — Firefighters urge caution deep-frying turkeys

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-25 18:14:59-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Officials are warning folks who plan to deep-fry their turkeys on Thanksgiving because the birds can quickly erupt into a ball of flames.

Henrico firefighters showed how quickly things could get out of hand while performing a demonstration Monday.

Crews set the fryer temperature to 475 degrees, which is only 100 degrees above the normal cooking temperature. Firefighters said that if folks put too much oil in the pot – and only use a partially thawed bird – that can be a recipe for disaster.

As a precaution, crews said you should keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

"You have to be careful even when using the extinguisher, because the pressure can cause the oil to splatter,” Henrico Fire Department’s Daniel Rosenbaum said.

And don’t forget to call 911 immediately if your turkey fryer catches fire.

Crews advise folks to lower turkeys slowly into the oil and only fry in the open, on pavement and away from any flammable structures.