At least 1 building evacuated after apartment fire - KCTV5

Neighbors forced out after grease fire at Overland Park apartment complex

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Neighbors were forced out of their homes after a grease fire at an Overland Park apartment complex.

Fire crews were called about 6:25 p.m. Tuesday to the Four Winds Apartments, near West 81st Street and Switzer Road.

Firefighters say the woman tried to use flour to put the fire out, but it didn't work.

Overland Park firefighters say they get these calls all the time.

By now most people know water is a not something to use to extinguish a grease fire.  Firefighters say a grease fire should be suffocated, but flour or baking soda is not the way to do that.

Instead, experts say people should grab a cookie sheet or a tight-fitting lid.

All but one of the tenants evacuated from the complex were cleared to go home Tuesday night.

The damage was limited to the unit where the fire started. 

"It started out as a small fire then got fairly big. The kitchen flashed over, which means there was a lot of fire in there when our fire crews made entry," said Overland Park fire investigator Chris Angermuller.

Angermuller said frying pan fires are the most common type of fire nationwide.

The key is to cover the fire, Angermuller said.

After the fire is covered, firefighters say evacuating the structure and calling for help is the next step.

"We will come determine if the fire is out for you," Angermuller said.

So what about a fire extinguisher? That was the tenant's second try.

"You go to put out a fire (with a fire extinguisher), it's a lot of pressure, and it could blow it and extend the fire, push it out against the cabinets," Angermuller said.

That is also what can happen if people don't act calmly and slide the cover on fully.

Firefighters say if someone slams the cookie sheet down, try to move the pan to the sink or throw water on it, it can make for an even bigger problem.

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