ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Two overnight fires in Howard County started because of unattended cooking.
The first happened just after midnight on Court House Drive in Ellicott City. Neighbors heard smoke detectors and called 911. Crews tried knocking on the door. When they got no answer, they broke through the apartment door.
Inside, the found an elderly woman asleep on the couch. They rescued her and took her to Howard County General Hospital due to medical symptoms that weren't related to the kitchen fire.
Crews put out the fire and ventilated the apartment.
The second fire happened on Columbia Road in Columbia just before 3 a.m. Sunday morning. Firefighters found a small grease fire in the kitchen when they arrived.
Because of the smoke and water damage, the person living in that apartment and the one below it will need to find a new place to stay.
Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services are now warning people to be careful when cooking. Here are a list of tips:
· Keep towels, pot holders, and curtains away from flames, ovens, and stove tops.
· Never leave food that is cooking on the stove alone. A serious fire can start in just seconds.
· Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup, which can start fires.
· Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
· Double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure all appliances are turned off.
· Make sure you turn off the stove or oven when you are finished using it.
The thing HCDFRS stressed most is to never use water to put out a grease fire. They warn the splash will only spread the fire. Instead, use a fire extinguisher or baking soda and call 911.
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