Kitchen fire at Caribbean Apartments in Washington

Published 1:05 am Monday, September 17, 2007

An unattended pot on the stove caused a fire Sunday evening inside 617 at Caribbean Apartments on Tarboro Street in Washington, fire officials said.
Resident, Billy Midyette, said he left this apartment for a few minutes while he was “thawing meat in the microwave.” A nearby neighbor at her clothesline heard “a whistling” coming from his apartment, Midyette said. “It was the smoke alarm.”
When he went back inside, Midyette could see flames and smoke over the top of his stove, he said. “It was mostly smoke.”
An automatic sprinkler system came on inside the apartment. Midyette used a fire extinguisher on the blaze.
The fire was out by the time fire officials with the City of Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Services arrived, Chief Jimmy Davis said.
The fire caused minior to moderate damage to the apartment, but there was water damage from the sprinkler system, Davis said.
Standing water was left inside the apartment. Fire fighters used mops and handheld squeegees to guide the water through the front door.
Capt. Scottie Taylor said the fire “scorched the cabinets” above the stove. Firefighters were able to get all of the smoke out and most of the water out.
Firefighters removed a pot from Midyette’s residence. “‘That’s what caused the fire,’” Davis told Midyette.
Midyette was cooking on the stove earlier in the day, but not just before the fire, he said. “I cleaned all around the stove maybe I hit one of the knobs.”
Apartment residents said they didn’t know about the fire until they heard the fire trucks. “I didn’t hear an alarm. … Suppose it happened in the middle of the night,” one resident said.