How to put out a grease fire

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One home was destroyed and two others were damaged after a grease fire in Huntington over the weekend.

Kanawha County Emergency Management Deputy Director Mike Oakley said grease fires can quickly start and spread to other areas in the home. He said oil is difficult to put out, so WSAZ wanted to find out the best way to handle a grease fire.

While it may be your first instinct, Oakley said throwing water on a grease fire is never a good idea. "It's going to cause the flame to get bigger and, as it gets bigger, that oil is going to spread and the flames are going to spread," Oakely said.

One of the simplest ways to put out a grease fire is by putting the lid, or another pan, over the burning grease. "It cuts off the oxygen. Once it cuts off the oxygen, the fire will go out. It's very simple," Oakley said.

He said you can also coat burning oil with baking soda, but the area has to be completely covered and it may not be safe to get that close to the fire.

The best option, Oakley said, is to have a fire extinguisher nearby and working smoke detectors in the home. "Those few seconds may be the difference between getting caught inside or getting out of your residence safely," he said.

As you leave the home, Oakley said to close doors behind you. It will alleviate the airflow and contain the fire. The most important step is to call 911 and notify your neighbors, especially if you cannot get the fire out.