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Firefighters Warn Of Dangers When Deep Frying Turkey

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every year more than a thousand fires are started nationwide by deep frying.

Most of those fires start on Thanksgiving in most part because of the popularity of deep-fried turkey.

The Bloomington Fire Department hosted a fire safety open house on Tuesday to alert residents on the dangers of using a deep fryer when cooking turkey.

We brought out deep fryer to the fire department for the demonstration. They showed us the biggest mistake that people cooking make: Filling the fryer with too much oil.

It took about 25 minutes for the oil to heat up to 425 degrees, then a firefighter in full gear droppe a 15-pound bird into the oil. The entire deep fryer became engulfed in flames.

Many people do this same thing too close to their homes, on a wooden deck or inside their garage.

“It flares up and all the sudden it’s leaking everywhere. Things will catch on fire,” said.

Some people make the fire worse by throwing water on it. That will only spread a grease fire.

“People will put water on it, and grease actually floats on top of water,” said Bloomington Fire Captain Tony Gutierrez.

Firefighters showed us the right way to measure the amount of oil that should be used. First put the turkey in the deep fryer, then put water in to cover the bird, then take the turkey out.

Where the water level is at when the bird is removed is about the amount of oil you will use.

Remember that big blaze? After firefighters removed the turkey, they kept cooking it and we all got a taste of it. It was amazing.

If you do have a grease fire, don’t try to put it out with water. Safety experts say that, because stove fires don’t act like most other fires, the best way to extinguish them is to cut off their air supply by covering pans with lids or closing the oven door.

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