Food left on stove causes fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Food left on stove causes fire

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Another casualty of a down economy, a 10-year old girl is being treated for smoke inhalation at the Augusta Burn Center Friday night.  Her family's power was cut off this week, and her mom was using a neighbor's stove to cook dinner.

She forgot there was grease on the stove and a fire started.  Boxes are stacked outside of Randall Belt's door, waiting to take away what little belongings are salvageable.

He walked through his duplex and pointed out the damage, the majority of it in the kitchen.

Randall's neighbors had fallen on hard times.  16-year old Adriana Aaron said, "We just got our lights cut off."

They share a duplex with Belt, so he let them cook in his kitchen.  16-year old Adrianna Aaron and her mom decided to run to the store to quickly fill up the car with gas.

They locked Adrianna's 10-year old sister up inside the house, for her protection.  She said, "We left the house with India there and we're not thinking fire, we're thinking burglars, breakins, things like that so we left the backdoor open and the front door dead bolted."

But they forgot grease was on the stove, until they turned the corner back home.  Adriana said, "Right when we got to the street, my mom says, 'gosh.  I left the grease on the stove.'"

As they pulled up to the house, they saw little India.  She had jumped out of the window to get away from the fire.  Adrianna said, "She kept saying she was scared and she couldn't breathe."  India was airlifted to Augusta's burn unit where she's undergoing breathing treatments.

As for what tomorrow will be like for Randall Belt, he's not entirely sure, just thankful India wasn't hurt worse.  He said, "Stuff can be replaced is the way I look at it.  It's not important.  The little girl is what's important and she's going to be okay."

But this fire does serve as a warning for the rest of us.  Belt said, "Please be careful.  Be careful out there.  When you're cooking, make sure that you turn the burners off before you leave the room, so this doesn't happen to other people, 'cause it could have been worse."

But thankfully, this time, it wasn't.

10-year old India Aaron is expected to be released from the burn center in Augusta Saturday.  Randall Belt lost almost all of his possessions in the fire.  He did not have any renters insurance.  His cat also died from smoke inhalation.

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