Stove top fire extinguisher can help minimize damage in house fires

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico investigators return to the scene of a fire that left a family with six children without a home Monday night. They're still trying to figure out what happened, but indications are it started from cooking.

When Earl Boatwright heard word of a fire at a home on Moss Side Avenue, he immediately was concerned for the children.

"Knowing that there was six kids inside, and I just thank God that everyone made it out safe," said Boatwright.

Fire officials were at the home Tuesday continuing their investigation. They believe the fire could have possibly been started by food that was left on the stove.

"The biggest thing that people can do is don't leave food unattended. That is where majority of fires occur, they are heating up oil, cooking something, they go into [another] room for just a few minutes. It can overheat and catch fire," Captain Rosenbaum said.

Captain Rosenbaum with Henrico fire says its best to keep a fire extinguisher in your home and be prepared to improvise in case of an emergency.

"If a small fire breaks out, often you can cover the pot with a lid and that will help to extinguish your fire," Captain Rosenbaum said.

Something new and convenient for homes in the Richmond areas is a stove-top fire extinguisher. What it does is it attaches to your vent hood and, when it is exposed to fire, it disperses automatically.

"It's a device that shows a lot of promise, it's automatic doesn't involve any involvement from the person, and it could drastically minimize the amount of damage caused by a kitchen fire," Captain Rosenbaum said.

It costs about $50 for two stove top extinguishers and they last for five years. Captain Rosenbaum says the price to pay is a lot less than $10,000 to $20,000 for a more extensive fire.

Earl says he is just thankful that his neighbors made it out of that Monday night fire safe. He sends a warning for everyone to be cautious

"Smoke detectors, make sure the batteries are in there and they are working and make sure your chimney is cleaned out before you start that fire," Boatwright said.

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