Barbecue Grill Causes Fire At St. Peters Condominium Complex

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

Fire Forces Local Family from Home

Fire forced a St. Peters, Missouri family out of their home Thursday night. At approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) responded to call for a house fire in the 100 block of Sutters Mill Rd. in St. Peters. One person was home at the time of the fire and awoke to a haze in the air. When she looked for the source she discovered a fire in a basement bedroom and quickly closed the door to the room, got out of the house and called 911.

“This resident did everything correctly. Her quick reaction to close the door, get out of the house and call 911 spared the house from further damage and helped their three dogs escape injury,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown. A closed door helps prevent the spread of a fire.

At the time of the call St. Charles County Ambulance (SCCAD) was closest to the scene and arrived first. When they got to the home the paramedics reported a working basement fire and confirmed that everyone was safely out of the house. When CCFR arrived on the scene they discovered fire blowing out a bedroom window on the lower level of the home, and began work to put out the fire.

“Heavy black smoke filled the entire home, but because the resident closed the door to the room where the fire started, the actual fire damage was contained to the one room,” says Brown.

There were no injuries, but damages are expected to be $30,000 or more. Fire investigators are still at the scene working to determine the cause of the fire. The family of four is staying with family Thursday night.

CCFR was assisted by the Cottleville Fire Protection District, SCCAD and RE-HAB 95, which provides canteen service to firefighters and victim assistance to families affected by fire or other disasters. Approximately 25 first responders were on the scene.

Visit our Facebook page for images from the scene.

CCFR Firefighters Rescue, Revive Cat After Basement Fire

In early May, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters received a call about a residential basement fire. Crews arrived on the scene within minutes to find all residents gathered safely outdoors.

All residents but one, that is.

One of the residents told firefighters their cat was still inside, and the CCFR crew immediately started their search. When the cat was found unresponsive, the crew began to administer CPR, successfully resuscitating the cat before returning her to her owners so they could bring her to the veterinarian.

“At CCFR, we know that for many residents, pets are just another member of the family,” Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “We’re committed to keeping every member of our community safe — even the furry ones — and that’s why every CCFR fire truck is equipped with a special pet resuscitation kit.”

Two St. Peters Kitchen Fires Monday Highlight Importance of Cooking Safety, Sprinklers

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires nationwide. Two St. Peters residents became part of this statistic on Nov. 27, when frying chicken and bacon led to fires in their kitchens. Both residences were equipped with automatic fire suppression systems, commonly known as sprinklers, that rapidly extinguished the flames, limiting damage to the buildings.

At around 10 a.m. at the Wyndham Park Apartments, 8000 Wyndham Park Dr. a resident turned her back on a frying pan of bacon, which caught fire.

“The resident panicked and poured water on the grease fire, which caused the flames to flash, setting off the fire suppression system,” Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “Water should never be poured on a grease fire. We are fortunate that there were no injuries or more extreme damage to her home.”

In the event of a grease fire, residents should turn off the stove and cover the flames with a lid, or use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. If the fire has spread, residents should evacuate the house and call 911.

At around 7 p.m. CCFR responded to the second cooking fire of the day. This one was at the Turnberry Place Condominiums, at 450 Benton Dr. A resident was warming a pan to fry chicken and left the room. When she returned the pan was on fire, and the fire suppression system was putting the fire out.

“Current building codes in the area require working fire suppression systems in multi-family housing units like these apartment complexes. In these two fires, these systems helped minimize the fire damage to incidents that only required minor clean-up, and there were no injuries. Without them the fire damage and injuries could have been much more extensive,” Brown says.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more than 450 home cooking fires every day. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of these fires and the leading cause of civilian fire injuries.

“Especially during the busy holiday season, it is critically important for everyone to remember safety first in the kitchen. Never leave cooking food unattended, keep items like dish towels away from the stove, and make sure children and pets stay away from the stove and oven,” Brown says.

CCFR firefighter Jake Taylor recently appeared on Fox2 to talk about grease fire prevention. Click here to see what they had to say.

Fatal House Fire

Elm Street House FireOne Adult, Two Children Die In St. Peters House Fire

At around 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 9 Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) responded to a call for a house fire in the 1800 Block of Elm Tree St.

Upon arrival, first responders found neighbors knocking on doors and windows. The neighbors, who had discovered the fire, alerted firefighters that there were likely people inside the home.

The firefighters entered the smoke-filled home and found the two children, then the adult. The children were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The adult victim was found dead at the scene.

Because of the fatalities, the St. Peters Police Department is handling the fire investigation.

Birdie Hills Rd. House Fire

Birdie hills house fire

At around 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7 firefighters from Central County Fire & RescueCottleville Fire Protection District and O’Fallon Fire Protection District and St. Charles County Ambulance District responded to a house fire in the 1100 block of Birdie Hills Rd. St. Charles County Ambulance Medic 10 was the first to arrive and reported heavy fire showing from the home.

When emergency responders arrived everyone was out of the home and firefighters began extinguishing the fire. Two victims were transported to a local hospital for what is believed to be smoke inhalation.

The fire is being investigated by CCFR, and a cause is not available at this time.

Recent Fires

Candles and smoking – they are both a leading cause of home fires, and both resulted in recent fires within the CCFR service area.

On April 19, careless smoking caused a fire at the Cactus RV Park and on April 24, a lit candle caused a fire in the 800 block of Red Tree Lane in the Sun River Village Apartment complex. The smoking fire resulted in a fatality, and two people were injured in the candle fire.

 

Every year, candles and smoking materials cause more than 100,000 house fires in the United States that result in more than 600 fatalities and thousands of injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lighted tobacco products are the leading cause of fatal fires in the home.

“Everyone needs to understand the real risks of smoking and lighting candles. These are open heat sources that can rapidly ignite things such as curtains and furniture,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.

Candle Safety

  • CCFR recommends using battery-operated candles.
  • Candles need to be:
    • At least a foot away from anything that can burn (curtains, walls, lamps, etc.)
    • Attended at all times
    • Used in sturdy, enclosed candleholders
    • Placed in areas where they cannot be tipped over
    • Avoided in homes where oxygen is used
  • In the event of a power outage use flashlights, or other battery-operated power, not candles to light your home.

Click here to learn more from NFPA.

Smoking Safety

  • Smoke outside
  • Never dispose of smoking materials in a plastic container or plastic trash bag
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table
  • Douse ashes and cigarette butts with water before throwing them away
  • Avoid smoking in homes where oxygen is used
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.

Click here to learn more from NFPA.

Shamrock’s Fire

Shamrock's fire

Cooking oils in the terry cloth towels caused the fire at Shamrock’s Pub & Grill.

St. Peters, MO (June 13, 2013)- Towels and rags are the likely cause of a fire that resulted in an estimated $25,000 in building and property damages to the Shamrock’s Pub & Grill at 4177 Veterans Memorial Parkway St. Peters, MO 63376.

Around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11 Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters arrived on the scene of the two-alarm fire. “Fortunately, the fire was contained to the storage room, and no one was injured,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.

Security camera footage assisted in determining the apparent cause; a pile of towels that had been removed from the dryer and placed on a counter. “Hours later, after the restaurant closed, the video footage shows the pile of towels starting to smolder, then bursts into open flames,” says Mason.

The determination is that the cotton terrycloth towels that had contained cooking-oils caused the spontaneous combustion. Extensive smoke and equipment damage will likely cause the restaurant to be closed for at least a month.

“A normal washer and dryer cannot completely clean the cooking-oils from rags and towels. When they are piled together, especially after being in the heat of a dryer, they have the potential to spontaneously combust because the heat has no way to escape,” says Mason.

CCFR recommends businesses use a commercial laundry service to avoid these types of fires. If laundry is done on-site follow these tips:
– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all cleaning supplies and equipment
– Store laundry in a cool, well ventilated space
– Dry laundry at a cool temperature
– Do not leave soiled or freshly laundered items in a pile