Lufkin Firefighters alarmed over surge in cooking fires

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Something as simple as cooking dinner could turn into a house fire, but there are steps you can take to prevent the worst possible scenario.

Monday night's fire in the 1300 block of North Warren Street was just one of several that Lufkin Fire Department has had to handle that involved cooking.

"I think people become complacent when they cook and if I leave the kitchen for a couple of minutes it will be fine," said Lufkin Fire Marshall Steve McCool.

The easiest ways to protect yourself and house is to stay in the kitchen while cooking with grease, keep children at least three feet away from the stove, never use a stove or oven to heat a house and don't cook if you are sleepy or drunk.

But if a fire starts while cooking, there are things you can do to stop it from spreading.

"If your skillet does catch on fire and you have a small grease fire, what you don't want to do is move it and pick up the pan. What you do want to do is take the lid and slide it over the top of the pan," said McCool.

Another thing to do is to always turn off the burner if a fire starts.

Fires can also start in the oven which is an easy fix.

"What you want to do is to close the oven or keep the oven closed and turn it off," said McCool.

You can also position yourself between the exit and the fire and use an extinguisher.

"To do that, you will pull the pin, aim the nozzle, sweep back and forth and squeeze the handle," said McCool.

Saving the house is important but saving your life should be the top priority, so it is always important to leave and call 911 if you cannot get the fire under control.

McCool also said that even if you are able to put any fire out on your own, it is still a good idea to call the fire department and have them come out and double check to make sure everything is ok.

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