Barbecue grill causes deck fire

The fire caused $5,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters responded to a Public Safety Joint Communications report of a residential structure fire Saturday night. The fire, located at 4406 Brown Station Rd., was caused by a barbecue grill.

Hot ash escaped from the bottom of the barbecue grill causing the deck to catch on fire, according to a Columbia Fire department news release.

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 10:58 p.m. and extinguished the fire within ten minutes, Capt. John Metz said.

Metz said the fire was easily put out because it was an exterior fire. The fire extended from the deck to an exterior wall on the rear side of the structure. The interior of the house and attic space were not damaged by the fire, according to the news release.

McCollom investigated the fire and found its originated underneath the barbecue on the deck. Residents had used the gas grill earlier that evening and were burning charcoal briquettes.

According to Assistant Fire Marshall Shawn McCollom, the fire caused approximately $5,000 in damages.

No one was injured during the fire.

Grill fires are not uncommon, Metz said, but CFD does not track the causes of fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S fire departments responded to 8,600 home fires involving grills from 2006-10. The leading cause of grill related structure fires is something flammable being too close to the grill.

Although more than a quarter of grill related fires were started on an exterior porch or deck, they most commonly occurred in courtyards, terraces or patios. These fires caused an estimated $75 million worth of damage from 2006-10.

Gas grills are involved in an average of 7,100 home fires per year while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills are involved in approximately 1,200, according to the NFPA.

In 2011, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries caused by grills. Almost half of those injuries were thermal burns, according to the NFPA. Approximately one-third of the gas grill injuries were burns incurred while lighting the grill.

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