Brownsville Authorities Give Safety Tips to Prevent Fires at Home
BROWNSVILLE – Brownsville fire officials are cautioning residents about possible fires in their homes this holiday season.
The Sanchez family lost their Brownsville home after a small grease fire spread rapidly Thursday night. The mother, Norma Sanchez, said she tried to extinguish it the only way she knew how.
“I saw the pan. The grease fell on both sides of the grill. I then tried to stop the fire,” she recounted. “I think that when I opened the door, the fire got more oxygen and got stronger… We tried to get back in, but there was nothing.”
With no fire extinguisher in sight, Sanchez said she also tried to use water to tame the flames. According to Brownsville Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo, people should never use water to put out a grease fire.
“Unfortunately, for the family there was a total loss of the residence, due to the fact that it was a fire that she was using to cook,” he said. “It was an open flame and she actually tried to extinguish the fire with water, and water and grease do not mix. It’s actually a volatile mixture.”
Sanchez returned to her home Friday afternoon to try and salvage the little she could from inside her home.
Elizondo said there are ways someone can try to contain the fire before it spreads.
“If there is a cover and it’s safe for you to put that cover on the pot, do so. That will allow that fire to stop or extinguish itself. If you can’t just get away, call 911 as soon as possible,” he advised.
Elizondo said their department sees an increase in calls at this time of the year. He said everyone should be aware of what could go wrong if they use any open flame.
“We suggest you do it somewhere that is not near the home and there are no kids running around. Make sure that there is a safe place for that cooking to happen,” he said. “Have the pots’ handles facing inwards so that there’s nobody or any kid that reached over and pulls a pot.”
Elizondo advised people should try and have a fire extinguisher in their home. He said having one could make a difference. He added smoke detectors should also be inspected regularly.