Kitchen fires on rise in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kitchen fires on rise in Albany

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March 28, 2008

Albany -- Kitchen fires are up dramatically in Albany, and firefighters think it could be a sign of economic woes.

 About ten o'clock Thursday night Belinda Gilliard suffered second degree burns on her hand as she fought a stove fire in her home in the 600 block of Zackery Court. Firefighters say food left cooking unattended started the blaze.

Albany firefighters say kitchen fires related to cooking are up more than 30 percent recently. In the 2005 -2006 year they responded to 133 kitchen fires. So far in the current fiscal year they've fought 186-kitchen fires.

They can only conclude more people cooking at home. Albany Fire Department Chief James Carswell said "maybe the fuel costs are causing people to stay home and do more cooking in the house. Whereas they may have went out to a restaurant in the past, now they are staying home. Anytime you increase the times people are cooking, you increase the opportunity for something bad to happen."

Gilliard is the second woman injured by a kitchen fire this week. Back on February 14th, 24-year old Derrick Fedd died in a fire at his Jones Avenue home when he fell asleep while food was cooking on his stove.

Firefighters say if you carry a spoon or a hot pad with you when you leave the kitchen, it will remind you about food on the stove.

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