Firefighters from the James City County Fire Department responded to an early morning fire at a residence in the Berkeley Green subdivision on Aug. 9. A 911 call was received at 4:55 a.m. from the homeowner reporting a grill and back deck on fire. Firefighters arrived within seven minutes to find that two adults and two children had evacuated the home and flames in the deck area. The fire was quickly extinguished, with damage confined to the homes exterior. There were no injuries and the residents are staying with neighbors. James City County Fire Marshals have investigated and determined the fire was accidental in nature, caused by hot charcoals left in the unattended grill which ignited deck materials.
Unattended grilling and improper disposal of coals from grills are a common, preventable cause of house fires. The Fire Marshal’s Office encourages following the recommendations of the U.S. Fire Administration to stay fire safe this summer:
- Only use your grill outside and keep it at least 3 feet from siding, deck rails and eaves
- Clean your grill after each use
- Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill
- Place cooled coals in a metal can with a lid
- Stay with the grill when it is in use
Additional information on grilling fire safety can be found online.
Alton Catlett, Battalion Chief