Grease fire guts duplex

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
A kitchen grease fire that got out of control gutted a duplex at 633 S. Caldwell St. Wednesday evening.
Cynthia Foster, a friend and caretaker of one of two residents in the brick building, said she was cooking dinner when the fire started. She said the knobs on her friend’s stove are difficult to read and that she may have accidentally turned the wrong knob on high.
Foster said she walked out of the kitchen and when she walked back inside, the grease was on fire.
“I tried to put it out,” she said, burning her right arm in the process.
When she and the resident of the apartment went outside, Foster said, the fire was contained to the kitchen. They went to the other side of the duplex and knocked on the door to ask resident Shirley Boger to call 911.
Foster said the fire, reported to 911 Communications at about 6:30, quickly engulfed the duplex. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control soon after arriving.
Foster and the resident of the duplex were given oxygen on the scene by rescue personnel, and Foster’s arm was treated for burns.
Boger said she has lived in the duplex since she moved from Maryland to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren in Spencer.
“She wanted me to come down,” she said of her daughter.
Boger’s daughter and granddaughter arrived on the scene minutes later and tried to comfort her. Her granddaughter said, “You’re alive,” and her daughter said she could go to the store and replace what she had lost.
No additional information on the fire was available Wednesday night.