Kitchen fire damages house

Jun. 01, 2014 @ 10:10 PM

Fire damaged a house Sunday afternoon off Alston Avenue south of downtown, Durham fire officials said. No one was hurt.

Firefighters were called at 12:56 p.m. to a two-story residence at 419 Dupree St. and saw smoke coming from the front door, Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi of the Durham Fire Department said.

They quickly extinguished the fire, which was caused by an unattended pan of oil on the stove, he said.

The flames spread to the cabinets, walls and ceiling before they were under control.

There was smoke damage throughout, and the house was uninhabitable. The Red Cross was not needed, Iannuzzi said.

Twenty-seven firefighters responded to the call and were on the scene about an hour.

Cooking fires are the top cause of blazes in Durham and nationwide, according to Iannuzzi. Nearly half (137) of all fires in Durham during 2013 were related to cooking.

Fire officials offer these tips:

- Never leave food that is cooking on the stove. A serious fire can start in seconds.

- Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames, ovens and stovetops.

- Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking, because the sleeves may catch fire and burn you.

- If you're cooking and a fire starts, turn off the stove or burner and put a lid on the pan to stop it. Never throw water on a grease fire.