How to avoid a fireball in the kitchen

How to avoid a fireball in the kitchen »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- It only takes minutes for a house to go up in flames.

Most house fires are caused by cooking in the kitchen, according to the National Fire Protection Authority.

For grease fires, the sudden fireball is likely caused by the combination of heat, oil and water.

“The water sinks to the bottom and turns into steam and becomes extremely explosive, which can engulf your kitchen into a big house fire,” said Chrissy Hollett, public information officer for Lane Fire Authority.  

When your pot or pan goes into flames, natural instincts may tell you to pour water on the fire. Hollett said you should never put water on the flames because it creates an even bigger fireball.

“What we recommend is your lid. Always keep your lid nearby what you're cooking and put a lid on,” said Hollett.  

Without oxygen, a fire can't grow bigger.

There are some people who believe in pouring flour over the flames   

“Flour is combustible, and the small little particles are going to break up in the air and catch on fire which can create an even bigger fire in your kitchen,” said Hollett.

She said if a fire starts in your oven -- do not open the door. Let it contain itself inside the oven.

Hollett said you should never leave the stove unattended when cooking.

If you cannot contain the fire, evacuate the building and then call 911.