Unattended food on a stove sparked a fire at a Mount Vernon apartment Thursday, according to authorities.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to the fire at about 10 a.m. Thursday on 8201 Russell Road, officials report.
Firefighters saw smoke coming from the third floor of the apartment when they arrived. They were quickly able to get the kitchen fire under control, fire officials report. No one was home at the time and no one was injured.
Two adults and two children have been displaced as a result. The Red Cross is helping the occupants. Damage is estimated at $60,000.
Fairfax County fire officials offer the following kitchen safety tips:
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
- Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
- Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
- Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
- Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
- If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.