Firefighters squelch smoldering disaster

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By Carol A. Clark

The mouth-watering aroma of supper simmering on the stove turned acrid when a forgotten pot began to smolder and nearly burst into flames Friday in an apartment on 11th Street.Los Alamos Fire Marshall Michael Thompson described the sequence of events that lead to near disaster for the apartment owner and surrounding neighbors at about 3:30 p.m. Friday.“He put the food in the pot to start cooking and went to another part of the apartment,” Thompson said. “After a while, he remembered something at work and left the apartment through a door that was away from the kitchen. The water eventually evaporated in the pot and the food began to burn.”Luckily, a neighbor smelled smoke in the hallway of the apartment building and called it in, Thompson said.Los Alamos police opened the apartment door to the vacant apartment and firefighters removed the smoldering pan and ventilated the space. “Fortunately, it was caught in time,” Thompson said.Fires from cooking mishaps are the most common household fires and the leading cause of home fire injuries in the United States, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. More than 100,000 fires start in kitchens each year in the United States, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands more.

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