Grass fire slows traffic in Beaumont

A crew with the Beaumont Fire Department worked to fight a grass fire.

Firefighters fought a grass fire in Beaumont on Oct. 9 near the Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 69 interchange at a little after noon.

Firefighters could be seen from the road attempting to extinguish the fire. They were able to get the blaze under control a short time later, and it was out by approximately 1:20 p.m., according to an alert from the Texas Department of Public Safety. BFD’s Brad Pennison said the fire was caused by sparks from a cutting torch TxDOT employees used in guardrail repair. Sparks ignited the pampas grass below. Firefighters had to utilize two fire trucks to shuttle in enough water to control the blaze.

Coincidentally, Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced the theme for the week: “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” According to research provided by NFPA, cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires, and a significant contributor to home fire deaths. During Fire Prevention Week 2013, the NFPA highlighted the dangers of unattended cooking and risky kitchen habits.

“On average, firefighters respond to more than 400 kitchen fires every day,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “By making kitchen fire safety the theme for 2013 Fire Prevention Week, we can raise awareness of the leading cause of fires, unattended cooking, and provide lifesaving safety tips to improve safety of everyone in the home.”

NFPA warns that kitchen fires are difficult to suppress because people often panic. Water will only make the fire bigger, in most instances. A different method, like using a fire extinguisher or placing a heavy lid on a burning pot to remove oxygen and douse the fire, should be used in a grease fire or kitchen fire. NFPA recommends that if you have a kitchen fire, “Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.” They also encourage the public to call 911 or their local fire department upon leaving the house.