Fire marshal urges caution when cooking on grills

John Richmeier

A flattop grill fire was quickly contained without any injuries this weekend in Leavenworth. But the local fire marshal said the fire could have turned out a lot worse.

And Leavenworth Fire Marshal Andy Brooks is urging people to be careful this summer when firing up the grill.

“Give it some thought and consideration about how dangerous it could be,” he said.

According to Brooks, June and July are peak months for grill fires.

He said a fire involving a propane flattop grill was reported at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the 2100 block of Spruce Street.

He said a person was attempting to light the cooker when a fire started under the grill.

Brooks said people at the scene threw water on the fire, and a neighbor used a fire extinguisher.

“So it was under control before we got there,” Brooks said.

According to Brooks, an average of 19,700 people in the United States went to emergency rooms each year between 2014-2018 because of injuries involving grills.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year during that period in the United States.

Brooks encourages people to check the gas line connections for propane grills. Gas leaks or line breaks can be a common cause of gas grill fires.

Charcoal grills also can pose hazards. Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year in the United States between 2014-2018.

Brooks cautions against using charcoal grills on wooden decks or any deck that is not made out of concrete.

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