ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Unattended cooking fires killed more people last year in Minnesota than the previous seven years combined.
Besides causes of fires that were unknown, careless smoking and unattended cooking took the most lives last year at six. Typically it averages less than one life a year.
“We try and preach fire safety from a young age and teach people, children namely how to be safe. Cooking fires are just nature. People get busy, they forget things, they just go about their business,” said Captain Dennis Glassel of the Albert Lea Fire Department.
He said something deadly can happen even if you just step away for a moment.
“Don’t try and multi-task when you’re cooking. Keep an eye on the fire, keep a lid handy. A lot of it is grease fires. People panic, throw water on it and it just gets out of control, so keep a lid handy, cover it, turn the fire off,” Glassel said.
Other things to keep in mind while cooking are to keep rags, pot holders and paper towels away from cooking surfaces. Also roll up your sleeves.