HENRICO, Va. – An over the stove fire extinguisher help contain a structure fire on the 7600 block of Beth Rd in Henrico’s North Side that firefighters said could have been much worse.
When units arrived they found that the kitchen fire had already been put out by an over the stove automatic extinguishing product. Fire crews were able to mark the situation under control several minutes after arrival and stayed on scene to remove some residual smoke.
The fire started when hot oil splashed from the cooking pot and caught fire, according to Capt. Danny Rosenbaum.
He pointed out that a day earlier, a similar cooking fire displaced a family of two and caused a significant amount more damage.
“Over the past year we have seen several other success stories with the over the stove fire extinguishers,” he said.
The device is an automatic fire suppression product that hangs above the burners of a stove. It is activated by flames that come into contact with the bottom of the product.
“These devices can help control a fire in a pot or pan on the stovetop,” Rosenbaum said. “Several different products that work similarly are available online for under $50.”
He used pictures to illustrate the differences in the two fires.
The picture below shows a similar kitchen fire Sunday night off Battery Drive, without an over the stove fire extinguisher. In this fire crews made it on scene in minutes and kept the fire contained to the kitchen, but there was still a considerable amount of damage.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in residential occupancies, Rosenbaum said. Of these fires, unattended cooking remains the leading cause.
From 2008-2012, there were 13,202 cooking fires in residential buildings in Virginia, according to Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Cooking was the leading cause (34%) of all residential structure fires in the state, during that same time period.
The fires resulted in $31 million dollars of total loss, caused 561 civilian injuries, and 12 civilian deaths.
The cooking fires occurred mainly in the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., accounting for 28 percent of the fires.
Rosenbaum added that structure fires have slightly increased in Henrico County over the past three years, up by 19 incidents in 2014, from the year before.