The adage that oil and water don't mix was proved again Thursday in the Hunting Creek subdivision. A lunchtime grease fire flared after water was thrown on it, leaving a Conyers family without a home.
Rockdale County firefighters responded to a call shortly before noon of a fire at a duplex at 1755 Ridge Ct, in the Hunting Creek complex near Flat Shoals Road and Ga. Highway 138.
A woman and her baby were home at the time. According to Rockdale County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sharon Webb, the woman was heating up the grease to start cooking lunch. She left the kitchen to check on the baby in the living room, and when she returned, the grease had ignited.
The woman then threw water on the grease fire in an attempt to extinguish it, which splattered the grease onto the cabinets.
“Never use water as an extinguishing agent” for a grease fire, said Webb. “Water is the worst thing for it.”
Webb said the first thing to do is to turn off the heat if possible. “Best thing for a grease fire is to smother it with a lid.”
Baking soda can also be used, but she warned against using flour. “Flour is combustible,” she said.
A fire extinguisher is also good, but she warned that the force from a fire extinguisher can also push the grease around.
The most damage was done in the kitchen area.
The woman and infant were able to escape from the building without injuries. The infant was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
Three adults, including the woman and her sister, and one child and the infant resided at the home, which was a duplex.
Red Cross was called for assistance for the family.
Rockdale firefighters also responded to a house fire on Nov. 27, around 8:34 p.m., at 3849 Ga. Hwy 20.
According to Webb, the fire started in the chimney of the single-story home and then spread to the attic.
One resident, a male, was home at the time but was able to escape with no injuries. There was reportedly about $17,000 worth of damage to the house, which did have insurance.
Webb said, “I caution people to have chimneys cleaned by a professional before they start burning wood this winter season.” Flammable materials build up in the chimney and also spreads to the attic or other parts of the house.
For fires in a fireplace, make sure to put out hot embers with water or discard it in a metal bucket with water.
For space heaters, make sure you have at least 2 feet of space around it and do not place it near bedding or where children or animal come near.
For homes with gas furnaces, Webb recommended a carbon monoxide detector, which can be obtained at your local hardware store.
For more winter fire safety tips, go to