A fire at a home in Gravenhurst early Monday evening caused extensive damage but could have been much worse.
Shortly after 6:00 p.m., Gravenhurst fire crews were called to a residence on Chickadee Lane after the exterior wall of the structure caught fire due to cooking. A resident had been cooking supper on a propane BBQ which was placed too close to the homes exterior wood cladding, causing the wall to catch fire. Despite attempts by the resident to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, the fire extended up the outside wall and entered the attic of the home.
Fire crews had to operate from both the interior and exterior of the structure to extinguish the fire in the attic space which was spreading in the wood trusses and roof decking. The fire was brought under control quickly but required extensive “overhaul” because of the extent of spread. Due to the heat and humidity, crews were rotated regularly and had to stay hydrated to ensure firefighter safety. A crew from Bracebridge Fire Department assisted at the incident to provide much needed relief. Crews remained on scene for several hours to ensure that the fire did not further spread into unburnt areas of the structure. Damage is estimated at $1,000,000.00, but thankfully there were no injuries.
Fire Chief Jared Cayley was quick to praise the efforts of the fire crews who also were quick to deploy hose lines and get water into the attic space as the fire was growing. “Their determined actions were instrumental in preventing this fire from growing in size.”
This fire also demonstrates the need to be fully attentive to any cooking, whether inside or outside the home. The Gravenhurst Fire Department stresses that cooking appliances have minimum safe clearance requirements, and these always need to be respected. “Due to the nature and spread of this fire, it illustrated the need to respect the recommendations of the manufacturer with respect to placement, and the need to be fully attentive and present whenever these appliances are in use,” said Cayley. “Cooking related fires remain the leading cause of fires in Ontario,” he noted.
The Department also offers these additional cooking safety tips:
- Always remain with the cooking appliance while in use
- Have an adequate means of extinguishment near by
- Never throw water on a grease fire – this will only spread the fire
- Check connections to ensure they are tight
- Make sure grease does not build up on the burners or at the base of the BBQ
- Clean your cooking devices regularly to prevent a grease fire
- While cooking, keep loose clothing away
- Keep children and pets at least one metre away from a hot BBQ
- Avoid cooking all together after consuming any intoxicant
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