At 2:38 p.m. on Christmas Day firefighters responded to a kitchen fire in the 7400 block of Pioneer Way in Gig Harbor. Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke coming out the gable ends of the attic, and the homeowners safe outside, according to Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One Prevention Specialist Nanette Tatom.
Firefighters made an offensive attack of the fire and were able to extinguish it quickly. Five fire engines, 2 tenders, 3 medic units and one battalion chief responded and started an initial attack within 5 minutes.
The homeowner was preparing Christmas dinner, placed a cast iron pot on the stove with some oil heating and left the kitchen. The oil caught fire and extended to the cabinets.
The homeowner came back into the kitchen to try to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Realizing it was bigger than she could handle, she helped to evacuate her wheelchair-bound husband, closed the doors to the home as she left and called 911.
While doing an interior attack of the fire, a firefighter rescued the pet dog and another firefighter retrieved the Christmas presents for the family. The fire damage is valued at $75,000 ($25,000 contents and $50,000 structure). No one was injured in the fire.
According to the fire department, the homeowners have insurance and are staying with their daughter.
Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One is reminding everyone to always stay in the kitchen and watch what you are cooking. In addition, check smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly and practice your family fire escape plan.