- Two apartment fires occurred in Valdosta last week; one of those fires was caused by unattended cooking.
- Kitchen safety the focus of this year's Fire Prevention Week.
- Watch the video to see how the Lowndes County Fire Rescue is keeping the public informed.
Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires in the country, and Valdosta has been no exception.
"It started spreading around the counters, then stopped."
I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.
As you get dinner ready tonight, listen to what Lowndes County Fire Rescue has to say about the danger and how you can stay safe.
The dogs were covered in soot, and the house was covered in soot.
Jeana Wilson is a Kindergarten teacher at Moulton Branch Elementary.
Thursday's seminar on fire safety brought up some memories of when she dealt with a fire in her own kitchen.
"My dog likes to get into the trash can. So we're like 'We'll just put it on the stove.' You should not do that."
Thankfully, Jeana tells me the damage was...
"...not too bad. The countertops and the floor got some damage too but we were really lucky.
Unfortunately, neighbors at 200 W Mary Street didn't have that same lucky last Tuesday. A fire caused by a resident leaving their meal unattended at a stove caused a massive fire, and displaced nine people.
LCFR chief Billy Young tells me this is why kitchen safety education in particular is so important.
"We see several a year that is caused by cooking in the kitchen."
I checked with the US Fire Administration and found Georgia had an average of 6.3 deaths and 17.6 injuries per 1,000 fires in a recent year.
Over 70 percent of these fire casualties were in homes.
Nationally, overall trends for home cooking fires and losses between 2012 and 2021 showed:
A 4% decrease in fires and A 31% decrease in deaths.
One thing that can keep those trends going down?
They're lessons Jeana tells me more people, including children, need to learn before it's too late.
"I just think, if it wasn't able to go out, then our dogs would not have made it, and they're our babies. So I like to think about what we can do to prevent that."
With Thanksgiving less than 6 weeks away...
These firefighters hope you'll keep these lessons in mind as you spend more time in the kitchen,
In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, ABC 27.