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Multiple kitchen fires keep local agencies busy during President’s Day Weekend

By Shayla Patrick, spatrick@ky3.com
Published On: Feb 17 2014 05:34:31 PM CST

One injured, several others displaced from their home

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -

Springfield Fire officials responded to three fires in three days that all began in the kitchen.

Officials say in one instance, a man suffered burns on his arms, torso, and face while trying to put out a fire on his stove.

"He picked the pan up and carried it to the sink to try to put it out and when he ran water on it it flared up and that's when he got burned," said Fire Marshall Ben Basham.

The best way to prevent kitchen fires is to stay in the kitchen while you're cooking and keep all flammable items away from the stove.

Firefighters say if a fire starts on your stove put a lid on the pot to cut off oxygen to the flame. They add, only use a fire extinguisher if you know how to do so properly.

"The acronym that we use is called PASS," Basham said.

"That's pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. First you pull the pin, then aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle so it discharges and the sweep is to sweep across the fire," he explained.

These fires kept local Red Cross workers busy, as well.

"We did get calls for two of the fires here in Springfield over the weekend," said Nigel Holderby, with the Red Cross.

"We don't get called to every fire. The fire department will contact the Red Cross and let us know that there's a family who needs our assistance and then we respond to make sure they have shelter, food, and clothes," she explained.

In addition to giving care packages and assistance to these families, Red Cross officials say they've been swamped with similar calls all month long.

"Just the first week of February alone more than 50 people needed our assistance," said Holderby.

Fire officials remind residents to pay extra attention when cooking with fire or using flammable materials. They also suggest regularly checking to make sure smoke detectors are functioning properly.