Investigators say home fire was caused by faulty propane barbecue grill

Posted at 12:39 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 14:39:35-04

Colorado Springs fire investigators determined a fully involved home fire was accidental due to a faulty propane barbecue grill.

Firefighters responded to the home fire at 1717 Carmel Drive on July 4 around 4:30 p.m. The fire department said multiple 911 calls were received, as heavy smoke was visible from a distance.

Fire crews said they were able to arrive on scene within five minutes and discovered the fire moving aggressively from the back to the front of the home. Firefighters were able to ventilate the home to improve conditions and increase safety, according to a release.

Approximately 40 firefighters responded to the blaze. Following an investigation from fire investigators, the fire was determined to be accidental due to a faulty propane barbecue grill. 

The resident told fire crews she ignited the grill and heard a loud boom and saw smoke and fire through the glass sliding door of the home. No injuries were reported.

CSFD and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) want to remind all people that barbecuing should include general maintenance to equipment. According to the NFPA:

  • July is the peak month for grill fires (17%), including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by May (14%), June (14%) and August (13%)
  • In 2012-2016, an average of 16,600 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.** Half (8,200 or 49%) of the injuries were thermal burns
  • Children under five accounted for an average of 1,600 or one-third (35%) of the 4,500 thermal non-fire grill burns. These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, grill part or hot coals
  • Gas grills were involved in an average of 7,900 home fires per year, including 3,300 structure fires and 4,700 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills. Twelve percent of gas grill structure fires and 24% of outside gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks
  • Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 700 outside fires annually
  • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to accomplish extinguishment

For more safety tips on grilling, click here