No injuries were suffered when a malfunctioning propane grill caused a fire at a Quincy Circle residence on Saturday.
At 10 p.m., a resident of J-5 Quincy Circle was barbecuing when his grill caught fire. The fire soon spread to the exterior of the structure. The homeowner was able to get his family members out of the residence and then called 911, according to police.
Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Brian Spahr arrived at the scene and witnessed the blaze venting from a second floor window entering the structure’s roof overhang, police said.
A total of 40 firefighters responded to the scene. The fire on the exterior of the house was knocked down before firefighters entered the residence to extinguish the blaze completely. The quick work of first responders confined the fire to one unit without allowing it to spread to the other seven units in the building. The Monmouth Junction, Kingston, and Kendall Park Fire Departments, in addition to North Brunswick Fire Company #2 responded to the call. The township was covered by the Cranbury and Jamesburg Fire Departments during the incident. The Monmouth Junction and Kendall Park First Aid Squads also responded to the blaze.
Basic grill safety guidelines from The United States Fire Administration:
Place your grill a safe distance from play areas and keep children away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot "safe zone."
•Position the grill well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
•Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
•Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
•Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
•Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles
•If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
1. Turn off the propane tank and grill.
2. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
3. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
• If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
• Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.