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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Fire chief advises local residents in times of kitchen fire

  • While it's OK to pour baking soda on a cooking fire, some people in certain circumstances have tried to use flour.
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    • Volunteers to receive badges:
      Two volunteer firefighters for Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 will officially receive their badges Monday night during a fire board meeting.

      Josh Budke and Brendan Ha...
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      Volunteers to receive badges:
      Two volunteer firefighters for Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 will officially receive their badges Monday night during a fire board meeting.
      Josh Budke and Brendan Hannigan will have their badges pinned onto their uniforms.
      Chief Rick Huhn said the two volunteers have been on a probationary status for more than a year, have completed firefighter I and II courses, and obtained national certification.
      Huhn said classes are taught in-house by Fire District No. 1 members who are certified instructors. Tests are administered by the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
  • While it's OK to pour baking soda on a cooking fire, some people in certain circumstances have tried to use flour.
    That's a bad idea, a local fire chief said.
    Rick Huhn, Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 chief, said a fire can "flare back at you" when flour is thrown onto the flames, especially if only a small amount of flour is used.
    He likened the situation to a grain elevator explosion, comparing flour to grain dust.
    Fire District No. 1 serves the city of Lansing as well as Delaware and High Prairie townships.
    A Lansing woman used flour in an attempt to put out a fire in her oven New Year's Day on Nottingham Drive.
    Fortunately, the fire did not flare up and the woman closed the oven door after using the flour. No injuries were reported, but there was smoke damage to the house, Huhn said.
    The chief said it's best to leave the oven door closed and call the fire department when there's an oven fire. He said ovens are designed to withstand the heat.
    "The fire will stay inside the oven," he said.
    He said opening the door will fuel the fire by providing it with more air.
    A small fire in a pan on the stove can be extinguished by covering the pan with a lid. Huhn recommends people still contact the fire department even after placing a lid over a fire.
    Huhn said cooking is one of the leading causes of fires.
    He acknowledged people can panic when there is a fire in their kitchen, and they may throw whatever they can find onto the flames. He recounted a fire in which a person attempted to extinguish the flames with frozen food.
    He said the worst thing a person can do is pour water onto a grease fire. He said the water will cause burning grease to splatter everywhere.
    "A fire extinguisher is the best thing," Huhn said.
    He recommended having one handy in the kitchen.
    "Know where it's at," he said.
    He also said it's important to know how to use the extinguisher. He said Fire District No. 1 offers fire extinguisher demonstrations each year during an open house.
    The chief acknowledged some people may not want to use extinguishers because powder from the extinguishers can be messy.
    Baking soda — not flour — is the next best option, Huhn said.
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