A teenage girl is lucky to have escaped serious injury after
a fireball erupted when she was cooking in a Pine Hill house
The 16-year-old's hands were burnt when she splashed water on
a burning pot of oil just after 4pm.
She had been cooking when the oil caught fire, and in her
attempt to put the fire out with water, she created a
''Burning oil is one of the few things you don't put out with
water. You try to smother it instead,'' Willowbank Senior
Station Officer Grant Clarkson said.
''The water expands quickly into steam, which blows all the
oil out and it self-ignites. So she was hit with a fireball,
which then self-extinguished,'' he said.
The girl rang emergency services about 4.20pm and was treated
by St John staff while firefighters pumped smoke out of the
house and made sure there was no further risk of fire.
''It [the fire] didn't take hold. We were lucky,'' Mr
East Otago fire risk management officer Michael Harrison said
oil fires in pots and other cooking devices should be
smothered with a pot lid, oven tray or even a damp tea towel.
Oven elements should be switched off, either at the wall or
the main switch board if it was not safe to touch the oven
switch, he said.
Pots and anything else burning should not be moved, in case
the fire spread.
''Every time there is a fire, even if it has been put out,
call the Fire Service. There may be other issues with
electrics or hot spots,'' Mr Harrison said.