Unattended cooking is being blamed for a fire that caused more than $400,000 damage and displaced a couple from their Edmonds home Tuesday afternoon.
Dispatchers received multiple calls reporting the fire at the single-story house in the 22500 block of 93rd Place West at around 12:30 p.m. A man and his dog were inside the house at the time of fire and safely exited. The man was exposed to smoke. He was evaluated by medics, but did not require medical treatment. His wife was at work at the time of the fire.
“Much of the house was engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire service in the Cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace and unincorporated Snohomish County.
Firefighters from Fire District 1 and Lynnwood responded. They had the bulk of the fire knocked down in about 15 minutes. Firefighters remained at the house until around 2:15 p.m. to deal with hot spots. One firefighter was transported by medics to Swedish Edmonds Hospital as a medical precaution.
The house is a total loss. The homeowners have insurance. Red Cross responded and is assisting the couple.
Fire investigators determined the fire started in the kitchen where food had been left cooking unattended on the stovetop.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fire District 1 offers these tips to prevent cooking fires:
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
- If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time.
- If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.