Watch that grill: Fire officials offer safety tips for cookouts, Stow grill fire damages shed

STOW, Mass. — Watch that grill, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby as you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend cookout.

That’s the message from local fire officials who offered safety tips for residents on Sunday, as they are enjoying holiday weekend barbecues at their homes.

On Saturday night, at 7:40 p.m., Stow firefighters responded to a report of an active grill fire outside of a home at 11 Hale Road that had extended to a shed and was approaching a nearby house, Stow Fire Chief John Benoit said.

When firefighters arrived, they found a fire that was extinguished by homeowners with an extinguisher and nearby garden hoses. Firefighters cooled hotspots and extinguished the remaining fire, and cleared the scene an hour later.

The use of fire extinguishers by homeowners at Saturday’s grill fire helped limit the damages, which Benoit estimated at approximately $5,000. No injuries were reported.

In Duxbury, fire officials tweeted out safety tips for cookouts and grilling on Sunday, as people flock outdoors to enjoy the nice weather and holiday weekend.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following safety tips:

  • Never leave your grill unattended
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it
  • Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area

In Stow, the cause of Saturday’s grill fire was found to be accidental, Benoit said.

He urged local residents to have fire extinguishers nearby in case a grill fire gets out of control.

“Fire extinguishers are low-cost and can be used by anyone,” said Benoit. “Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep back and forth.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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