CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston woman was burned while trying to put out an cooking oil fire with tap water, fire officials say.
Firefighters responded at 9:38 p.m. Thursday to a reported fire at Plantation Apartments on Carriage Lane in West Ashley. According to a fire department report, a woman who lives in the unit had been using cooking oil in a pot on the stovetop and left the kitchen. When she returned, she discovered a fire in the pot, the report says.
The occupant told firefighters she took the pot off the stove, placed it into the sink and turned on the faucet causing water to mix with the hot oil. That made the oil splatter, fire officials say, causing burns to the woman's hands. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Fire authorities say an estimated 165,000 cooking fires occur in residential buildings each year in the United States.
The Charleston Fire Department says the following safety tips should always be observed:
- Never leave food or cooking oils unattended. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
- Be alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or oven.
- Never use water on a grease fire. Water can spread the fire and splash hot grease causing burn injuries. If you can do so safely, turn off the burners and place a lid over the pot or pan. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish small fires.
- If you discover a fire, alert occupants immediately. If you cannot safely extinguish a fire, evacuate and call 911 after you leave.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside of each sleeping area.
Fire officials say the apartment received some smoke damage, but fire damage was contained to the cooking container.