September 23, 2017 10:02:54 PM
What started as a kitchen fire in the Brooksville Garden apartments has displaced several families.
Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough said the department received a call about the fire at 10:22 p.m. Thursday. He said firefighters arrived at the apartments, on Everglades Avenue, to find a fully involved fire that spread to several units.
Yarbrough said the fire started because a resident in unit 19C left her stove unattended.
"The resident was cooking on the stove," Yarbrough said. "She went to take a shower. When she came back out of the shower, she saw a fire on the stove."
Yarbrough said the resident didn't know how to use her fire extinguisher. She went to her neighbor, but the fire extinguisher there didn't work. Then she went to another neighbor for a fire extinguisher, but flames were coming out of her apartment door when she returned, and she opted to call the fire department.
No one was hurt in the fire, Yarbrough said, but it damaged four other apartments. He said OSERVS and the Red Cross are helping the displaced residents.
"When you're cooking, never leave the stove unattended," he said. "That's the number one cause of fires. Make sure you have house detectors in your house to alert you if something happens."
Yarbrough added that residents need to be sure they know how to operate their fire extinguishers. Those who don't, he said, can contact the fire department for instruction.
"We want to make sure we get it right," he said. "We don't want someone to die in their home because they don't know how to use fire extinguisher."
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