ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Firefighters issued a warning to citizens Thursday after a kitchen fire earlier this week led to the death of a man in Fridley.
Twenty-four-year-old Donley Wasserman, known as DJ, was asleep Tuesday night when the kitchen fire started. Three others inside the home were able to get out, but DJ didn’t make it.
Kitchen fires may seem rare, but cooking is actually the leading cause of fires.
“We like to remind people: Stay and look when you cook,” said Jeremy Berger, of the St. Paul Fire Department.
He says there are three steps to take if a grease fire starts on the stove.
First, use a hot pad to put the cover back on the pan or pot.
Second, turn the burner off.
And, finally, get out and call 911.
“Clearly we do not want people to use water on a grease fire or remove that pan from the stove,” Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Smith said.
By moving the pan, officials say, someone can panic, get burned or drop the pan.
That can cause the flames to spread.
The worst thing you can do is to put water on a grease fire.
When that happens, flames can shoot up, causing the walls and roof to catch fire.
Officials want to make clear how quickly a small kitchen fire can turn deadly.
“You need to have a plan, because you just don’t know when you’re going to have a fire,” Fridley Fire Chief John Berg said.
Fire officials also say you should make sure you have working smoke detectors in the home.