No one was hurt when a kitchen fire — caused by unattended cooking — broke out in a first-floor apartment at the back of 529 Grier St. around 8 p.m. Thursday, city firefighters said.
Fire Chief Sam Aungst said a man cooking fries on the stove fell asleep. It was unclear on Thursday evening whether the man woke up or was woken up by his girlfriend who, on returning home, discovered smoke pouring from the door of their apartment.
It had all the
potential to be a fatal fire, Aungst said, because tenants would have removed working smoke detectors that had been installed by the landlord. City code requires working smoke alarms in all apartments.
Aungst warned that from now on, tenants who tamper with or remove smoke detectors from their apartments will be charged a fee.
violation of the order.
While the fire was confined to the kitchen, there was smoke and heat damage throughout the apartment, Aungst said. Damage was at least $15,000, he added.
The local branch of the American Red Cross was assisting the two victims of the fire and their pet. All other tenants could return to their apartments.