Plymouth man snaps photo of grease fire before escaping home

PLYMOUTH, Ind. --When Jeffery DuVall saw his home in flames, he called 911 and got out of the home, but not before snapping a photo from inside his house.

"Making food, deep frying egg rolls, turned everything off, went and sat down to eat, smelled smoke, and heard some popping," DuVall said. "The entire kitchen was engulfed."

DuVall said he is happy his two cats, Frank and Lucy, escaped the fire.

"It was pretty scary. I wanted to make sure the cats were okay," he said. "To think that something would've happened to them, it would've killed me."

To add fuel to the fire, DuVall had been having a rough go until recently, until it came crashing down Thursday night.

"About a year ago, I got really sick, end-stage renal disease; I'm on dialysis," he said. "And if I didn't have frank, I don't know where I'd be… I was just finally getting back into the swing, where I could go out and try and get a job."

For now, DuVall cannot get into his house, meaning he cannot access the keys to his vehicle or his medications.

"All the medications that I had are in there underneath tons of debris," DuVall said.

The home was in his family his whole life, and while he said he knows he probably has to move now; he hopes to come back one day.

"What's done is done," he said. "I got to figure it out and get through it. If I dwell on it too long, I'm going to go insane."

DuVall said he did not have a fire extinguisher at the time of the fire and worries that could have made all the difference.

In the event of a grease fire, a fire extinguisher is the best tool to combat it, according to the Plymouth Fire Department. It can also be suffocated with the lid to a pot or pan. Water should NEVER be used on a grease fire.

The Assistant Fire Chief for the Plymouth Fire Department, Chuy Garcia, said to just be careful in the kitchen and to never leave cooking unattended and avoid any oil splatter.

If grease starts to smoke, cool it down before adding food.

"Depending on what's in the house, how much fuel is in the house, any kind of material, a fire can happen really fast," Garcia said. "It's a matter of minutes before your house is becoming fully engulfed… everything inside there is replaceable, you are not."

Of course, Garcia said if there's a fire in your home, don't snap a picture, just get out.

But if you want to help out DuVall-- he started a GoFundMe to help feed his cats Frank and Lucy.

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