It could have been much worse.
Their apartment could have been destroyed. Their neighbors displaced. The two children inside injured.
On Dec. 1, fire crews arrived at the building in the 14000 block of Portland Avenue, where they smelled smoke on the first floor, according to a news release.
By the time firefighters got there, the fire had been extinguished.
“Because the device had put out the fire, there was no damage to the kitchen or apartment unit,” according to the news release.
Upon arrival, crews found two young residents hiding in the bathroom. They told authorities that they accidentally started the fire while trying to cook. The cause of the fire was ruled an accident.
“This is just another tool in a toolbox,” said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Smith. “But clearly our message is to always be in the kitchen while the stove is on.”
Somewhat unknown, the device has been around for years.
In 2012, using a federal grant, the Burnsville Fire Department supplied almost 1,000 StoveTop FireStop to several apartment complexes, including the Portland Avenue building.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous areas for fire, Nelson said.
“We’ve seen the benefits of [FireStops] and encourage people to install them,” Nelson said. “They’ve saved a lot of damage.”
*This article originally appeared in the Star Tribune, .
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