Author Topic: Kitchen fire  (Read 673 times)

Melisande

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Kitchen fire
« on: November 05, 2018, 04:36:49 AM »
I was going to post this in the badassity sub-forum, but since I started the fire in addition to putting it out, I thought, maybe not so badass after all.

I love to cook. Iíve cooked nearly every day for 30 years with no incident, but had my first kitchen fire this morning.

Every morning for the past few months, Iíve been making myself sautťed vegetables (and other things). Iím trying to eat low fat (due to medical condition explained elsewhere on this forum), so I add just a little bit of oil to the pan ó 3/4 tsp to be exact. I heat the pan & oil over moderate heat, then tilt the pan to spread the oil around once it gets less viscous.

Today, for whatever reason, I set the burner on high instead of medium. When I went to tilt the pan to spread the oil, I found that it was a lot less viscous that I was expecting. The oil flowed up over the sides of the pan, spilled directly onto the very hot burner and instantly caught fire with flames over a foot high. I immediately slammed the pan down on top of the flames which thankfully disappeared almost immediately.

I didnít even think: donít use water or any other thing you arenít supposed to do with a grease fire, I just acted instinctively and apparently did exactly the right thing. Yay. But yikes, that was scary!

Anyone else ever survive a grease fire?



nereo

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 09:18:03 AM »
Flare-ups like this can be scary, but you did exactly what you should have.  A teaspoon of oil makes a big (relative to the small enclosed space of a kitchen) flare-up, but as long as you don't do something stupid like throw water on it, it'll pass in 10-15 seconds.  Unless there's something flammable nearby (which there shouldn't be) it'll go out on its own.

Watch the guy on grill in almost any restaurant; you'll see big flareups quite often.


Had a much more frustrating experience that began in a similar manner - roommate was cooking and had a flare-up and started screaming.  Before I could rush over and put a lid over the burner she grabbed had grabbed the chemical fire extinguisher.  I had just enough time to say "no, wait..." before the entire kitchen was enveloped in white powder.  Roommate and I spent the next 2+ hours cleaning the retardant out of every crack and crevice of our kitchen and dining area.  We had toss all of the food that was out and order a pizza for the night.

Melisande

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 10:51:59 AM »
Flare-ups like this can be scary, but you did exactly what you should have.  A teaspoon of oil makes a big (relative to the small enclosed space of a kitchen) flare-up, but as long as you don't do something stupid like throw water on it, it'll pass in 10-15 seconds.  Unless there's something flammable nearby (which there shouldn't be) it'll go out on its own.

Actually, I had a thick stack of paper about a foot away from the stove (my diet sheets) which made the whole thing scarier than it had to be. Needless to say, my diet sheets are now on the other side of the kitchen.

Polaria

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Linda_Norway

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 05:40:13 AM »
Scary. Good that it went well.
But indeed, it is important to know that water should not be used to stop a fire with oil. The water will spray meters high if you do, as fire departments sometimes demonstrate.
We have a little fire extinguisher in the kitchen near the stove. Of a type that can be used on a stove and oil. If the contents of a pan with oil are on fire, you can also just put a lid on it.
I have in the past regularly made french fries on a gas stove and that has always been a bit scary. I have not dared to leave the pan out of sight. Currently I live in a house without a gas pipe and have therefore an induction stove. That is a lot saver when working with oil and induction works very well. It is also much easier to clean than a gas stove.

J Boogie

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 08:26:47 AM »
One time I was reheating some spanikopita (think flaky, greasy greek egg roll in terms of flammability) in my mini toaster oven. Apparently it was too close to the burner element and caught fire. My toaster oven is somewhat enclosed in a pantry cabinet and with electricals and plenty of wood around I went with the sure thing.

I used my fire extinguisher (I keep one in each unit of my duplex as well as one in garage and basement) and threw the oven away (actually, it's still in the back of my garage somewhere waiting for dump day as I believe it's irresponsible to throw these things away) and bought a new one from amazon for like 30 bucks. This new one is awesome and fits a whole dinner plate unlike my old one. I can't believe people buy $300 versions of these toaster ovens.




Linda_Norway

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 06:26:35 AM »
One time I was reheating some spanikopita (think flaky, greasy greek egg roll in terms of flammability) in my mini toaster oven. Apparently it was too close to the burner element and caught fire. My toaster oven is somewhat enclosed in a pantry cabinet and with electricals and plenty of wood around I went with the sure thing.

I used my fire extinguisher (I keep one in each unit of my duplex as well as one in garage and basement) and threw the oven away (actually, it's still in the back of my garage somewhere waiting for dump day as I believe it's irresponsible to throw these things away) and bought a new one from amazon for like 30 bucks. This new one is awesome and fits a whole dinner plate unlike my old one. I can't believe people buy $300 versions of these toaster ovens.

I once had one of these toaster ovens when I was a student and only lived in 1 room, some decades ago. I got it used for free. It was indeed way too small for practical use.  I always use my microwave for reheating.

Leisured

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Re: Kitchen fire
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 03:53:36 AM »
Fire blankets are compact and cheap, available from  hardware stores, and work well in smothering a fire. A small CO2 extinguisher is good, so long as you avoid aiming the jet of gas at the hot oil, but a bit above it.

The hotter the oil, the less viscous it will be. Thank you, Melisande, for posting this.