LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - An apartment fire in Lafayette quickly spread to multiple units before firefighters could get it under control on Sunday.

While the fire was put out, four families are now without their homes, and the Red Cross has been called in to help them out.

At 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters were called to the Park Place Apartments on Belle Fontaine Drive. A downstairs apartment was on fire and was spreading. While they were able to get the fire under control in roughly twenty minutes, it had spread to an adjacent unit and two upstairs units.

The occupant of the apartment where the fire started was in his bedroom when he noticed smoke, according to the Lafayette Fire Department. As he entered the kitchen, he saw that it was on fire, and quickly exited the apartment to alert his neighbors.

Credit: Lafayette Fire Department
Credit: Lafayette Fire Department

While there were no injuries, all four families were displaced by the fire, and Red Cross was contacted to assist the occupants.

The two downstairs units sustained heavy fire damage, while the two upstairs units received moderate smoke and water damage.

The fire appears to have started on the stovetop, according to investigators. The occupant of the unit had left the cooking pots unattended, and the fire was ruled accidental.

Fire Safety in the Kitchen

Kitchen fires can be devastating if they get out of control, and an unattended stove is one of the easiest ways for the situation to go wrong quickly.

The National Fire Protection Agency website lists several tips for maintaining safety while in the kitchen, including:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

And if there is a fire in your home, be sure to:

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

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