WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 13, 2010, 08:09 PM

Grill Safety Concerns After Fargo Apartment Fire

After 150 people were left homeless in a Fargo apartment fire Monday, some are asking just how dangerous it is to have a grill on the deck of an apartment.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

After around 150 people were left homeless in Fargo after an apartment fire, the cause is still unknown. But firefighters have said a grill on a lower deck of one of the units likely played a part.

That has some asking just how dangerous is it to have a grill on the deck of an apartment.

Grand Forks Fire Marshal Jerry Vien says grilling on a deck is a safe thing to do as long as common sense is also on the menu.

Katie Domm lives in an apartment and likes to grill often on her deck. And she says she is careful in her cooking.

"Try to avoid any flare-ups. We do have a wooden structure. A balcony made entirely of wood," Domm said.

Right now there is no city code in Grand Forks or East Grand Forks that prohibits the use of gas or charcoal grills on decks, including those near apartments. But Vein says precautions are still needed and that includes maintenance.

"If you leave the grill out for 5 to 10 years. The hose become cracked, weathered and worn," Vien said.

In his 32 years in the department, Vien doesn't recall any big fires that were caused by grilling on a deck, but says that doesn't mean that it can't happen. And more precautions are being taken when it comes to apartments.

But for those with out that technology like Katie Domm, precaution is key. And even more so with the charcoal type grills that can be more dangerous than the gas type.