A planned batch of jalapeño poppers caused an apartment fire July 19th, 2012 in Muncie, Indiana. The Muncie Fire Department was called to the Hurley C. Goodall Apartments complex at 1902 W. Eighth St. shortly before 11 am
Kimberly Hobbs, whose apartment was the source of the fire, said she was about to fix herself jalapeño poppers when a friend called and asked her for a ride. Hobbs said she had put a pot of grease on the stove before her friend called and forgot it was there as she left her apartment.
When she arrived back home, she said, "I saw smoke coming out and all of these fire trucks."
Fire officials on the scene said it appeared the pot of grease on the electric stove burner was the cause of the fire.
"It looks like the main body of fire was in the kitchen," Captain Paul Sykes said. "That's fairly consistent with what we have found so far."
Muncie Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Adams later confirmed that was the cause, and said fire damage was mainly confined to Hobbs' kitchen. The rest of her apartment has smoke and water damage, and was uninhabitable, Adams said Thursday evening.
The other residents of the L-shaped building, which Adams estimated to include at least 25 units, got out on their own or were evacuated by firefighters at the time of the fire, and were back in their apartments afterward.
Brian Carney, a resident of the apartment complex, said he was napping when he was awakened by the building's fire alarm.
Mary Weisse, who lives in the apartment next to Hobbs', said she could hardly see when she left the building. "I came out of my apartment and the hallway was pitch black," Weisse said.
Five trucks and 19 firefighters were called to the fire, which took about 15 minutes to extinguish. Firefighters then spent almost two hours ventilating smoke from the building, Adams said.
Kimberly Hobbs is lucky that this situation turned out the way it did. Having a stove fire occur in an apartment in a complex with 25 other units could have had much worse results. It is important that people take the appropriate cautionary measures that prevent these accidents from occurring.
Purchasing a Stove Guard is the perfect resolution to this problem. The Stove Guard works by monitoring motion in the kitchen and by default automatically shuts the stove off 1 minute after the last time motion was detected. With adjustable delay time, each user can personalize their system to meet their needs and cooking style!