Closings and delays

Firefighters warn of unattended cooking dangers after Winston-Salem house fire

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Firefighters are warning about the dangers of unattended cooking after a house fire left a Winston-Salem family of four without a home for Thanksgiving Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out as a result of unattended cooking on Aureole Street. Exclusive video obtained by FOX8 shows a first-hand view as firefighters fought to put out the flames, which were erupting from the home’s kitchen.

“It happens quicker than people think,” said Sabrina Stowe, senior community educator with the Winston-Salem Fire Department. “You never think it’s going to happen to you.”

Stowe says the department has responded to 104 cooking-related fires in 2017, making them the leading cause of residential fires in the city.

“Everyone has a stove, so everyone has the potential of being involved in a cooking fire,” Stowe added.

Nationwide, cooking-related fires are four-times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, Stowe said.

“Stand by your pan, watch what you heat,” she recommended.

The department is taking extra steps to warn people about the dangers of unattended cooking, adding a van wrapped with fire safety messages which they will use in community education events and training sessions.

Stowe added that the department will also do courtesy home evaluations if you want to see if they can identify anything your family can do to make your home less susceptible to fires.

“We’re encouraging people to contact us, to have us to come out to help them be more fire safe,” Stowe said.

The department and the City of Winston-Salem also have several links on their social media and websites which can provide tips to avoid losing your belongings to cooking-related fires.