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MCFRS News Release

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2013

Release ID: 13-003
Contact: Scott Graham, Public Information Office
(240) 876-1260 Phone
(240) 777-2442 Media Line
Follow us @MCFirePIO

Woman Succumbs to Injuries After Kitchen Fire

First Residential Fire Fatality of the Year in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, MD - - - After being in critical condition since Thursday, a 67-year-old Silver Spring woman died Saturday, February 9th from injuries sustained when her clothing caught fire while cooking.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched at 10:45 a.m. to the 8500 block of 11th Avenue in Silver Spring on Thursday, February 7th for the report of a kitchen fire with one occupant burned.  Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and paramedics rushed the woman to a local burn specialty center in critical condition.

Investigators were requested to the scene and have determined that the woman’s clothing was accidentally ignited when it came in contact with a stove burner while she was cooking. The victim’s son rushed to her aid after hearing her screams and attempted to smother the flames. The son sustained minor burns. The cause of the fire is listed as accidental and caused an estimated $500.00 in damages.

“Katherine Elizabeth McNeal, sadly, became another statistic: a senior citizen who died in a house fire,” said Fire Chief Richie Bowers. “Tragically, elderly residents are a demographic heavily over-represented in fatal house fires. Our firefighters continue to canvas neighborhoods through our door-to-door safety campaign designed to promote fire safety awareness and the proper use of smoke alarms. We’ll install smoke alarms and check batteries for anyone in the community. We’re here to help.”

Cooking fires are the most common causes of home fires and home fire injuries. Pans left on the stove unattended and clothing that comes in contact with stove-top burners are top causes of kitchen fires. Here are some tips to help keep your kitchen a safe place: