The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 11, 2013

Cooking fire guts home

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Cooking oil was to blame Monday afternoon for a fire in the 1300 block of East Cherokee.

Enid Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Todd Hays said firefighters responded to a 1:03 p.m. report of a fire at 1328 E. Cherokee.

Hays said when firefighters arrived, flames were showing through three of the home’s windows and front door. No injuries were reported, but the bottom level of the home was a total loss.

Hays said a woman was heating cooking oil to make French fries when the oil overheated and caught fire. The woman told firefighters she thought she had an extinguisher, but could not find it. She then ran outside to call 911.

“The entire first floor was destroyed by fire, because when she left the house, she left the front door open,” Hays said. “That caused air to come into the house and created a chimney effect.”

The kitchen was located toward the back of the home, and leaving the front door open allowed the fire to consume more oxygen than if the door had been shut, he said.

“When cooking with oil especially, keep a lid handy,” Hays said. “If it catches fire, put a lid on it, turn the heat off and leave it alone.”

The Red Cross was called to the scene to aid the woman and her two children. Firefighters remained on scene until 3:08 p.m.