Kitchen fires keep NCFD busy with 3 in 1 day

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- North Charleston Fire Department crews responded to three fires in the past 24 hours and officials said two of them look like they started in the kitchen. The first fire happened at the Rivers Avenue Zaxby's Wednesday morning. The fire was contained to the kitchen and there were no injuries.The second fire sparked at a Midwood Drive home in the Pepperhill area Wednesday afternoon. That fire also started in the kitchen and displaced a family of four including two children. The Red Cross is helping them with shelter and essentials. There were no injuries reported.The third fire happened in the early hours of Thursday morning at{} a strip mall on Dorchester Road. Officials say the fire started at Senor Tequila and was contained but adjoining businesses suffered smoke damage. One firefighter was treated on scene for a heat-related injury but was released.Fire officials said kitchen fires make up almost half the fires reported in the city so they released the following tips. Watch what you heat, meaning stay in the kitchen while you are cooking and pay attention to what is heating on the stove weather it be frying, grilling, or broiling. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop. Keep everything that can catch fire -- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains--away from the stovetop. Keep a fire extinguisher, cookie sheet or lid handy in case a fire does break out. Remember to call 911, first, before attempting to extinguish the fire. If the fire is too big or has been burning for more than 30 seconds, abandon the structure and let firefighters extinguish the fire. You may place a cookie sheet over a burning pot or pour copious amounts of baking soda to smother a fire. NEVER pour salt, flour or sugar on a kitchen fire. These things will all burn and actually add fuel to the fire. NEVER attempt to fight a grease fire with water. As the water converts to steam the molecule sinks deeper into the grease while expanding exponentially. This causes a mini-volcanic affect spreading the fire. It can easily injure you and spread the fire at the same time. Remember you and your family are most important. If you are not ready, willing or able to fight the fire, evacuate the building and let firefighters extinguish the fire.