CTX firefighters explain how to avoid cooking fires this Thanksg - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

CTX firefighters explain how to avoid cooking fires this Thanksgiving

(Source: National Fire Protection Association) (Source: National Fire Protection Association)
TEMPLE, TX (KXXV) -

The National Fire Protection Association reports that cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. During Thanksgiving, the risks are even higher.

"It is one of the more common fires that we go to," said Captain Jonathan Christian with Temple Fire and Rescue. "We have a lot of folks that'll be in town and a lot of folks that are going to be cooking and that just leads to a lot more accidents."

Christian said most fires start on the stove or in the oven.

"They just step away for a little bit or they're just going to run to the other room and check something and when they come back they've already got a fire on the stove," said Christian.

He said you should keep all flammable items, like pot holders and paper towels, away from the stove. If a fire does start in your oven, Christian said you should turn it off and keep the door closed to contain the flames until help arrives.

Kevin Merritt is the Assistant Chief of the Speegleville Fire Department. He said large, hot oil turkey fryers are also to blame for cooking fires.

"Frying a turkey too close to your house, maybe under a carport and not thawing your turkey out all the way causes the grease to come out of the pot which then becomes a fireball," said Merritt. 

Merritt suggests checking your turkey to make sure there's no water or ice inside of it before you lower it into the fryer. The fryer should also be a safe distance away from your home and on a level platform.

Thankfully, neither department has responded to any Thanksgiving mishaps over the last few years, but they have seen what cooking fires can do.

"The next thing you know, your whole house is on fire," said Merritt. "I mean you, go from having everything to nothing in a matter of minutes."

Both firefighters said staying vigilant in the kitchen could save you a holiday headache and potentially your life.

"It's very important that we just keep an eye on things and watch stuff when we are cooking," said Christian.

For more information on cooking safety, you can check out the National Fire Protection Association.

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved. 

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