Smoke, flames erupt after man falls asleep while cooking

The fire moved from the stove to the cabinets and up into the ceiling of the kitchen. Firefighters pulled down the ceiling to make sure the fire didn't spread into the attic.

Smoke, flames erupt after man falls asleep while cooking

CREATED Jan. 6, 2013
Web Producer: Taylor Higgins
 
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Firefighters battled thick smoke and flames after a man fell asleep while cooking.  
 
Tucson firefighters responded to the 400 block of east Prince Road just before 2:00 a.m. Sunday after several people called 9-1-1 to report heavy smoke and fire coming from a first-floor apartment, according to Capt. Barrett Baker with the Tucson Fire Department. 
 
Once on scene, crews noticed heavy smoke coming from the apartment and immediately began searching for occupants, Baker says. 
 
Baker tells KGUN9 that while extinguishing the fire, crews discovered that the fire moved from the stove to the cabinets and up into the ceiling of the kitchen.  
 
Firefighters had to pull down the ceiling to make sure the fire hadn't spread into the attic. Once it was confirmed the fire was completely out, crews used a high powered fan to force the remaining smoke out of the apartment, trying to reduce the amount of damage from the residual smoke, according to Baker.
 
During the investigation into the cause of the fire, the resident of the apartment said he had fallen asleep while heating cooking oil on the stove, Baker said. 
 
There were no injuries to the resident or the responding firefighters and Red Cross was not needed. 
 
Baker wants to remind tenants and homeowners that the kitchen is the number one place for accidental fires. He says it is critical to never leave the kitchen area when cooking, especially frying. A working smoke alarm that gives an audible alarm when something is wrong is also imperative. 

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