Unattended frying fish sparks fire

Thursday, April 10, 2008 | 11:19 a.m. CDT; updated 12:03 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Deep-frying fish left unattended is being blamed for a kitchen fire Wednesday night that caused at least $50,000 in damage, Columba Fire Department said.

Linda Bieg, the resident of the house at 710 Mikel St., told firefighters she had stepped out of the kitchen while talking to a friend on the phone, according to the department’s news release. Just before 10 p.m., she noticed a flickering light coming from her kitchen and found the stove and cabinets on fire.

Bieg tried throwing salt on the pan and removing it from the stove to extinguish the flame but dropped the pan causing the fire to spread, according to the release. She then called 911 and evacuated the house. She was not injured in the fire.

When the firefighters arrived a few minutes later, they were able to quickly extinguish the fire, but it had already burned the cabinets and extended into the attic.

Smoke damage will require firefighters to do a thorough overhaul to ensure the fire is completely out in the attic, which may increase the estimated damage, according to the release.

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