Chief Matthew Grafton
25 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 19, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Fire Department Quells Grill Fire
STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton reports that the Stoneham Fire Department extinguished a grill fire this afternoon.
At approximately 1:30 p.m., Stoneham Fire received a report of an exterior grill fire at 19 Albion Avenue.
Upon arrival, firefighters were met with fire on the home’s back deck.
Ladder 1 and Engine 2 made a quick attack, extinguishing the grill and the fire that had extended to the deck’s railings and outside furniture. During the working fire, the Wakefield and Reading Fire Departments covered the Stoneham stations.
Prior to firefighters’ arrival, a construction worker from a crew completing work on a water main on Albion Avenue saw the fire and attempted to put it out with a fire extinguisher. The worker suffered burn injuries in the process and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by ambulance.
Crews later determined that the fire was likely caused by the resident putting charcoal in the gas grill, which then caused the grill to overheat and blow the propane pressure relief valve.
No other injuries were reported and the fire was contained to deck. Damage is estimated at approximately $10,000.
“Thankfully, crews were able to quickly put out the fire to prevent extension into the home,” Chief Grafton said. “This fire appears to be accidental in nature. We ask that residents be careful when grilling this season to prevent fires and injuries.”
With warm weather now upon us, the Stoneham Fire Department would like to remind residents that when grilling, to follow several important safety tips from the Department of Fire Services:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Place grills away from the house, siding, and deck railings and out from under leaves of overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grilling area.
- Never leave a burning grill unattended.
- Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
- Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
- Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
- If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
- Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.
- Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
- Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.