West Lubbock Fire Caused by Gas Grill - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/24/05

West Lubbock Fire Caused by Gas Grill

Not properly turning off a backyard barbecue is to blame for a house fire in Northwest Lubbock overnight. Fire crews from three stations responded to this house in the 6500 of 6th Street just after 2 a.m.

They arrived to find the Cruz family waiting for them on the front lawn. Rowena Cruz says she was awakened by the sound of smoke detectors and an "orange glow" coming from the backyard. "I was awakened by bright light and I woke my husband up. I got the kids out. We have a friend in the burn ICU, I'm really sorry," said Rowena.

That house guest is still hospitalized at University Medical Center, with third degree burns to her face and arms. Rowena's two and half year old daughter also suffered a burn to her arm and her husband Joseph was treated for smoke inhalation. Both are home tonight.

Investigators say with the grilling season firing up around the city, they find this is a common reason why houses catch fire. You can prevent it from happening.

Using Care When Grilling
Learn safety tips about Outdoor Grilling, Gas Grilling, and Charcoal Grilling.

Where you barbecue is just as important as how you barbecue or grill. Fire marshal Garett Nelson says you should never grill underneath an overhang. Instead, you'll want to make sure your grill is in a well ventilated area, preferably out in the open, away from the house.

Nelson says using the grill in a poor location can result in a house fire similar to the one that happened to this family. "Any time an appliance is producing heat and if it can't go any where then it's going to heat the objects close to it. So in this case, you have the roof, if the house is not brick you also have the walls that are made of a combustible materials. As the heat build up, it reaches that ignition temperature of the sources and it can spark without a flame," said Nelson.

Nelson also suggests to turn off, not just your grill, but turn the valve off on the propane tank just in case your grill maybe faulty.

Again, Nelson says this is a common type of house fire that can always be prevented.

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