More than hot dogs and hamburgers felt the heat of the barbecue flames at a condominium complex in Saint Peters, Missouri on the night of Sunday, Sept. 23. An overheated grill sent flames up the side of the complex, and onto the deck.
The Saint Peters Police Department was closest to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher before the fire caused further damage. Firefighters from Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) arrived minutes later.
“We are fortunate that the police arrived when they did. A few more minutes and we would have had a different situation on our hands,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown.
International Fire Code (IFC), and local fire ordinances prohibit grills and other open flame devices on the decks and patios of multifamily residential complexes. The IFC is a model code utilized nationwide by thousands of building and fire departments.
“Decks and patios of apartment and condominium complexes are usually much smaller than what a single family home has. The grill cannot be far enough from the home to prevent it from causing a house fire. In addition, multifamily developments are often more than two stories high and are a home to many more people than in a single family residence. This creates significantly more risk to life-loss if a fire were to occur,” says Brown.
“We understand many residents want to grill, but it simply not safe on the decks of multifamily complexes. We have seen many fires, just like this one over the past few years, and many times the damage is much worse,” says Brown.
CCFR recommends multifamily complexes install grills in common areas that are away from the property and present less of a risk to residents and their homes. The District is committed to the reduction in loss of property and life, and continues to work toward the elimination of those hazards that can be identified before a fire.
Images from the scene