Knox County woman cooks brisket in bathtub, causes apartment fire

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Firefighters controlled flames in a North Knoxville apartment after a woman tried to cook brisket in her bathtub Monday night.

Knoxville Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran said, “This is not a safe practice, and over 50 percent of residential fires involve cooking.”

Her next door neighbors said they were taking a nap when they smelled smoke in their apartment. They went next door to see what was going on.

“She sat in her apartment just casually as smoke was pouring out,” said Bill Reno, a tenant in the apartment complex.

Crews responded to the fire at 4834 Scheel Road, apartment 214 Monday at 6:05 p.m. A woman was found fanning smoke from the residence. She was trying to cook the brisket in a fiberglass bathtub, according to crews.

There was an open flame at the bottom of the tub along with a wire rack. The brisket was on the upper edges of the rack. The tub was melting. Crews used the shower head to put out the fire.

Reno said the smoke made him very nervous because his two week old son was in the apartment at the time.

“So the instinct of getting him out is what we were trying to do. Just make sure he is okay,” said Reno.

Thankfully, he is okay. While this is happening upstairs, the resident who lives directly below apartment 214, Leticia Martinez, was overwhelmed with smoke. Her bathroom has some water damage.

Martinez said management was supposed to fix it yesterday but no one came. People who live there say the smell is still really bad, even two days after the fire.

“I had to spend money to wash everything. Everything was drenched with smell,” said Reno.

There were no injuries reported.

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