Grease fires can get out of hand quickly

It's going to be a few days before we officially know how Wednesday’s apartment fire started at Plum Tree Apartments in Delta Township.

Restoration crews started cleaning up the rubble Thursday.

Part of the east wall of the building collapsed while fire crews were working. A machine knocked down the south wall just to be safe.

The Red Cross tells us the fire forced 25 people out of their homes.

Nobody was hurt.

Jojuan Amerson lived in a lower level apartment when grease he says caught his apartment on fire. Amerson was with a friend when it happened.

“I didn't know how to control it at first,” said Amerson. “He told me to try some baking soda and I found out that probably wasn't a good idea.”

Using baking soda can work to put out a grease fire, but you’ll need a lot of it to do so very quickly.

There are more efficient ways.

“The first thing you should do is not put water on it,” said Cpt. Leo Allaire from the East Lansing Fire Department. “You should get a cooking lid, preferably a metal one and cover up the fire if you can.”

Grease fires for the East Lansing Fire Department are a common call.

“Grease fires or any type of cooking fires are actually pretty prevalent,” said Allaire. “We'll go on a couple a week.”

In fact immediately following an interview with News 10, a call came over the loud speaker for a grease related fire.

It was put out but not everyone is that lucky.

“Always have a ‘dry chem’ or ‘ABC fire extinguisher’ in your kitchen someplace so that if a grease fire or any fire gets out of hand you can attempt to put it out,” said Allaire.

A simple move like not paying attention while cooking could be a move that could cost you your home, or even worse, your life.

“Always stay in the kitchen and always monitor your cooking,” said Allaire. “Never walk into another room to watch TV because you could end up falling asleep or get distracted and forget about what you're cooking.”

Delta Township Firefighters say they've responded to four grease fires just this week alone.

The fourth one this week happened later Wednesday night.

Crews were able to contain that fire.

Delta Township Fire is asking that everyone stay away from the burned apartment building for safety.

We will let you know when investigators determine the cause of the fire.