Nassau Sees Uptick In Kitchen Fires Since Beginning Of Quarantine

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Fire officials on Long Island are seeing an uptick in a certain type of fire because people are staying at home.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are told to stay at home, where many people are preparing their own meals. Because of this, there’s been a significant uptick in kitchen fires since the beginning of quarantine, according to Nassau County Chief John Murray, instructor at the Firefighters Museum.

“In some cases, the ovens haven’t been cleaned in a long time,” he explains. “And they’re seeing some incidents where there’s small fires within the ovens.”

Murray says if a fire forms in the oven, the best bet is to close the oven and turn the heat off. Typically, the fires will burn out without causing much damage.

He stresses that it’s important to clean ovens regularly, and most are self-cleaning, making the process much easier.

Murray says if someone is cooking in a frying pan and a grease fire starts, avoid water at all costs.

“You should never throw water on a grease fire because it will explode. The water will turn to steam and the droplets will burn out.”

He recommends everyone be familiar with how to use a fire extinguisher before its used, as well.

“Fire extinguishers, I have mix feelings on that. If you’re familiar with how to use it and you know where it is, that’s fine,” Murray said. “But it can be used improperly, and it can actual spread the fire.”

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