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The Cedar Rapids Fire Department offers advice when houses are damaged by unsupervised grill fires



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – After multiple fires were started by neglected grills, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department is releasing a warning.

A house fire caused by an abandoned barbecue was the third call the department has received this season last week. All three resulted in significant damage, and in one instance the fire extended to the house next door, seriously harming not one but two residences.

CRFS states that whether cooking over a fire in the backyard, smoking, grilling, or using a BBQ, being cautious, alert, and organized are essential to creating a delicious and safe dinner.

They offer the following safety advice for outdoor cooking:

• Maintain all cooking devices in clean, serviceable condition
• Keep all heat sources away from your home or any other structure. (At least three feet for a grill. 20 or more feet for a recreational fire.)
• Never leave an active heat source unattended.
• Keep an extinguisher or water source at-hand.
• Clean your grill regularly, including the cooking well and drip pan. These areas can flare-up and create large, uncontrolled fires in the blink of an eye.
• Coals must be COLD-OUT before disposing of them. Soak them overnight in water, place them in a sealed metal container before setting them out for garbage pickup.

The incorrect dumping of coal has also resulted in a significant number of Garby/Yardy fires, according to CRFD. And a lot of them reach into adjacent garages or houses.