Don’t Add Water to a Grease Fire

Yesterday the Eden Prairie Fire Department responded to a cooking fire at an Extended Stay America hotel in Eden Prairie.

The occupant was making popcorn and a fire started when the oil became too hot on the stove. The small grease fire would have likely been contained by putting a lid on the pan. Instead, the occupant moved the pan to the sink and added water, which accelerated the fire. Fortunately, the occupant didn’t suffer any injuries.

As you may know, water and oil don’t mix. When you add water to hot oil, it causes the oil to sputter. When you add water to burning oil, the oil separates and creates a fire ball. This picture shows damage above the sink in the hotel room caused by a fire ball.

If you are cooking with grease or oil, please have a lid close by. And if you have a grease fire, put a lid over the fire and smother it. Do not add water!

To see what it looks like when water is added to a grease fire, check out this video demonstration conducted by the St. Paul Fire Department.