IFD: Father, daughter fortunate to avoid serious injury after grill blows up

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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis father and his 7-month-old daughter were fortunate to avoid serious injury Monday when his grill exploded and caught fire.

At about 4:45 p.m., firefighters with the Indianapolis Fire Department were called to a home in the 2000 block of Central Avenue.

Once on scene, firefighters worked quickly to contain the fire to the back porch and spare the main structure. IEMS medics checked both the man and the baby, and neither suffered serious injuries.

IFD says it’s not clear what caused the man’s 2-year-old grill and propane tank to burst apart. The fire department noted that the family had recently changed out the propane tank but had not used it since replacing it on Sunday.

The man told firefighters he turned the grill on and went to light it when “the grill blew up in my face” and sent debris everywhere. He grabbed his daughter, who was nearby on a toddler porch swing, and evacuated the porch. The man told IFD the toddler swing hangs about six to eight feet away from where the grill typically sits, but the explosion, fire and heat melted the swing within minutes. 

IFD released the following statement on summer grill safety:

Take steps now to ensure that your grill is in good working order, in a well ventilated outdoor area, away from the main structure and with no less than a 3 foot perimeter from all combustibles. Never leave a hot grill unattended. For gas grills, when changing out the propane tank, make sure that you get a solid connection on the threads as you tighten them and that the on/off valve is turned all the way off when finished.

If using a charcoal grill, allow the briquets and ashes to completely cool in the metal container before removing them for trash. Do not put them in a paper bag or plastic container until they are well cooled and better yet, doused with copious amounts of water. Too often we see fires that start in a garage or on a wooden back deck after briquets or ashes are removed too quickly from the metal container and placed in the trash. Flare ups with a rekindle can occur even after an overnight cooling period, so the water is a second safety measure that will help prevent an accidental fire.   

Indianapolis Fire Department

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