KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Grilling out is one of the most common causes of fires on Labor Day and other summer holidays, according to Jeff Bagwell with Rural Metro Fire Department.
“This time of year, we see a lot of fires that are a result of grilling outside improperly, too close to a house, or a campfire that’s too close to a house, or a fire that has no boundaries. Therefore. it gets out of those boundaries, catches the woods on fire, may catch a house on fire something like that,” Bagwell said.
He said grilling mistakes are easy to make when people are busy entertaining on holidays.
“They will use accelerants to promote a fire, maybe even in a grill that’s not rated for that kind of fire,” he said. “Number two, is that they will have it way to close to their house.”
A fire being too close to your home can turn into a disaster in just a few minutes.
“They start the fire, they have good flames going, getting it right, but they leave the lid up, and they leave the lid up when they go inside and maybe they get distracted. that happens a lot and then when they come out the outside of their house is on fire,” he explained.
He said the most important thing to do if your house catches on fire is to call the fire department immediately.
“What we see a lot of times, is people will try to put out the fire themselves with a garden hose or extinguisher, and when they cannot do that, when they’re not successful and the fire gets away from them, then they try to call us,” he said. “Then depending on where you live, and who your fire department is, you may have a 5-10 minute response and that fire has now doubled or tripled in size.”
Bagwell also said they expect to see more fires with similar causes in the next few months as football season starts in Knoxville.