Portland Fire Department puts out two major kitchen fires this week, issues safety reminders

Portland fire crews work to extinguish a smoky kitchen fire at 246 Auburn St. on Friday.
Portland Fire Department
Portland fire crews work to extinguish a smoky kitchen fire at 246 Auburn St. on Friday.
Posted July 18, 2014, at 9:49 p.m.

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Portland fire crews take a break while awaiting air quality reports before beginning clean up and overhaul of a smoky fire at 246 Auburn St.
Portland Fire Department
Portland fire crews take a break while awaiting air quality reports before beginning clean up and overhaul of a smoky fire at 246 Auburn St.

PORTLAND, Maine — A pair of kitchen fires this week that left two homes uninhabitable prompted the Portland Fire Department to remind the public not to leave cooking equipment unattended, spokesman Tim Nangle said Friday.

The first fire happened Monday at 1087 Riverside St., when city fire crews were called to extinguish a kitchen fire that left that residence unlivable, Nangle said in a news release.

The owners of that home were told to have the electrical system inspected and to install smoke detectors, Nangle said.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, fire crews responded to an apartment fire at 246 Auburn St.

The first firefighters to arrive reported heavy smoke billowing from the apartment and evacuated the building. The fire was put out but not before it destroyed the kitchen area and caused heavy smoke damage to the rest of the apartment, Nangle said.

Nangle said the smoke detectors were working in that apartment.

National Fire Protection Agency statistics indicate that in a typical year, cooking equipment is a factor in 43 percent of all home fires and that 38 percent of fire injuries in the home are related to cooking equipment. Most of the fires and injuries were the result of unattended cooking equipment.

“This is the second cooking or stove fire this week,” Portland fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said Friday. “Residents should always use extreme care when cooking. Never leave a stove that is in use unattended for any length of time.”

Both fires have been deemed accidental, and investigators are determining the exact causes.

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