PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Thanksgiving is the peak day for home-cooking fires.

“We have a lot of stove fires,” Laurel Fire Department Chief Leo Brown said. “It can vary from 10 calls during this timeframe to 30 calls.”

Brown said many people tend to leave their food unattended, which can quickly start a blaze.

The National Fire Protection Association said unattended cooking has caused seven fire deaths in Mississippi so far in 2023.

“It’s pretty significant damage,” Brown said. “So, that’s why we encourage people, if you’re cooking, not to leave the house. Try not to be on the phone. Set a timer on your stove.”

Brown also said not to wear loose clothing, keep kids away from the cooking areas and never hold a child while cooking.

If you’re using a fryer, it should be outside and away from the house, Brown said.

Brown said at least 21 LFD staff members are on standby to treat these fires.

“All stations are manned 24 hours,” Brown said. “We are fully equipped any time of the day, any season.”

The department also is fully equipped to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in homes in the City of Laurel.

If there is a fire at the home, Brown said residents should leave immediately and call 911.

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