BBQ Causes Structure Fire, Officials Remind Residents of Grilling Safety
Over the weekend Berkshire County residents got a taste of spring weather as the season officially got underway. After a long winter, neighborhoods came alive again. Dogs were walked, bikes were ridden, and grills were fired up. However, the spring weather wasn't all good news for one Pittsfield family who had a close call with a grill fire, prompting city fire officials to remind residents about grilling safety.
According to Deputy Chief Dan Garner, this past Sunday, March 21 at 3:36 pm, the Pittsfield Fire Department responded to 14 Windsor Avenue for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fire on the side of the home, extending to the interior attic void above. Members of PFD also found the homeowner on scene attempting extinguishment with a garden hose. Engine 2 crew stretched a 1-3/4” hand line and extinguished all visible fire. E-5 stood by water supply. E-3 checked for fire extension with Tower-1.
All companies remained on scene for an hour as the remaining smoldering fire had extended into wall and ceiling spaces near the area of origin. The fire was brought under control and the residence was returned to the owner.
There were no injuries associated with this fire. The cause was accidental due to cooking too close to the structure. The damage was estimated as less than $2,000.
The fire serves as a safety reminder to all as the grilling season gets underway. Pittsfield Fire provided the following reminders for those firing up BBQs this year:
1. Always grill outdoors.
2. Grills must be 10-feet from the side of a building unless the manufacturer's instructions say it can be closer. Make sure grills are not underneath overhanging branches.
3. Grills cannot be used on a porch, balcony or deck with a roof, overhang or wall (other than the exterior of the building).
4. Grills can only be used on open first floor porches, decks or patios if there is an outdoor stairway to the ground, or the porch is at ground level.
5. Grills cannot be used on fire escapes.
6. Place grills away from the house and deck railings.
7. Keep all matches, lighters and lighter fluid away from children.
8. Keep children and pets three feet away from grills. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders.