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Firefighters say some recent upgrades at an apartment complex made all the difference when a kitchen fire erupted on someone’s stove top. The only damage? Some soot and some minor cleanup. In the past years, though flames could have destroyed the entire building. WSBT’s Ted Land explains how they were able to prevent that major loss. Ted?
Well, Jennifer, it all came down to a relatively inexpensive device which worked exactly as it was designed and it’s something firefighters have been urging apartment managers to install for years.
A fire that burned out of control in June 2011 damaged several units at the Castle Point apartment complex, forcing renters out of their homes. Here’s where firefighters think it started, on the stove top. Well, they responded to a similar call yesterday, but by the time they got there, the fire was already out.
Between both burners and that’s it.
Clay fire marshal, Dave Cherrone, says devices called StoveTop FireStops, installed by Castle Point last fall, likely prevented a catastrophe.
What normally would have been tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage is probably going to be less than 500, probably less than $200 worth of damage.
This video from the manufacturer shows how they work. You hang the FireStops above the burners. If for some reason a pan ignites, the flames will trigger a fuse, and the canisters release fire suppressant. They say the system can extinguish a stove top blaze in seconds.
Those are the ones from yesterday’s fire. So that’s what it looks like after it has activated. 99% of kitchen fires are caused by unattended cooking, and if they can stop that, you stop the damage, you save lives, you save property. So it’s a very, very cheap insurance.
And it makes their jobs much easier.
Those fire stops sell for about $45 a pair. You need two of them to effectively cover all four burners. They also installed them at the Park Jefferson apartments, where there have been some pretty significant fires in recent years. Ted Land, WSBT Channel 22 news.