Crime

Grease fire sends Bellingham woman to hospital with burns

Bellingham firefighters respond to a grease fire that left a young woman with burns to her feet Wednesday morning, April 6, 2016, at Belleau Woods apartments, 4020 Northwest Ave.
Bellingham firefighters respond to a grease fire that left a young woman with burns to her feet Wednesday morning, April 6, 2016, at Belleau Woods apartments, 4020 Northwest Ave. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A young woman suffered burns to her feet in a grease fire at a Bellingham apartment Wednesday, April 6.

A medium-sized saucepan caught fire as the woman and a man — both in their early 20s — were cooking on a stove around 10:20 a.m. in a second-floor unit of Belleau Woods Apartments, 4020 Northwest Ave., according to Bellingham firefighters.

They tried to move the burning pan outside, but the hot grease sloshed onto her feet and his hand, said Bellingham Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hewett. The man grabbed an extinguisher and put the fire out as firefighters rushed to the scene.

The young woman was taken to St. Joseph hospital. Her injuries aren’t considered life threatening. The man suffered small burns to his hand that didn’t need emergency aid at the hospital. A dog had a burn to a paw, too.

Smoke flooded the apartment, but it wasn’t bad enough to set off the sprinkler system, Hewett said. No neighboring apartments needed to be evacuated, and the most serious property damage was to the pan.

“Having a fire extinguisher saved their building today,” Hewett said. “This is exactly why we have people put their fire extinguishers in their kitchen.”

The pair should not have tried to move the pan, however, Hewett said.

“Moving a flaming pot of grease is very dangerous,” he said.

In the event of a grease fire, cover the cookware, if possible. Turn off the heat. Use a fire extinguisher. And don’t hesitate to call 911.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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