UPDATE | Mother rescues 5-year-old daughter from grease trap; county commissioners enact safety policy

Published: Nov. 11, 2019 at 6:45 PM EST
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UPDATE 11/22/19 @ 12:30 a.m.

Kanawha County commissioners voted to put a policy in place Thursday that would make the Health Department regulate grease traps and give them increased security.

"We've examined all of our codes and regulations and determined that we needed additional protections to prevent this from happening in the future," said Commissioner Ben Salango.

Five-year-old Kambria fell into a grease trap at Las Trancas restaurant in Charleston earlier in the month. Luckily her mom, Kara, came to her rescue and got her out.

"My goal is to hopefully see that they get all of the regulations up to code and that the lids are no longer able to be removed unless there is force such as, a lock or key," said Kara Cvechko, Kambria's mom.

Commissioners pointed out that in other states, including Alabama, some children have been in similar situations and died. Now those states have regulations in place to ensure nothing like that happens again.

"We think they need to be raised so that they're more visible and probably more secure so kids don't stumble in the dark into a grease trap and potentially die," Salango said.

Kent Carper, president of the Kanawha County Commission, says the policy will be named after Kambria and go into effect immediately.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said at the meeting that the policy was passed unanimously Thursday night.

Commissioners plan to bring the policy to the Legislature in hopes of creating a new law, "Kambria's Law."

UPDATE 11/21/19 @ 7:30 p.m.

More details have been released about an incident Monday evening that involved a young girl falling into a grease trap.

Police say the girl's mother pulled her out of the hole. Charleston EMS crews say the lid was on the drain but not completely.

The incident happened at a restaurant near Southridge Boulevard when investigators say the girl ran off and slipped into the hole. Her mother reached in and was able to grab her daughter, who was submerged in nearly 4 feet of grease.

Earlier reports said the girl fell into a sewer hole, but Steve Cooper, general manager of the Charleston Sanitary Board, confirmed it was a grease trap.

The girl was taken to the hospital to be checked out. We are told her injuries are not serious.

EMS crews say the mother jumping into action so quickly was key to her daughter not being seriously hurt.


A 4-year-old girl fell in a grease trap near Southridge Boulevard on Monday evening.

According to Metro 911 dispatchers, the girl is expected to be OK and was out of the hole before crews arrived on scene.

It is unclear how she fell in the hole.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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