Grease fire sends three to hospital

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

A lunchtime grease fire at Roy’s and Ricky’s Catering (Oliver’s Grocery) resulted in three people being sent to Obici and Sentara hospitals with extensive burns to their bodies.

Suffolk’s Emergency Management Coordinator Captain Jim Judkins said the names of the injured people were not being released Friday evening, pending notification of their families. But he did say they had severe burns and one was flown out by Nightingale to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Email newsletter signup

The Emergency Communications Center received the call that a grease fire was burning in the kitchen and when Engine Company #4 from the Lake Kilby Road Fire Station arrived on scene, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the rear of the single-story wood-frame structure. Fortunately, they were able to contain the flames to the cooking area and hood system.

Judkins said that based on an interview with owner Ricky Conner, the fire started in the grease tray under the grill and quickly spread up to the hood system.

Two portable fire extinguishers and the hood extinguishing system held the fire in check until firefighters arrived, he said.

After the fire was extinguished, firefighters turned off a propane gas line, which is normal procedure following a fire. When the explosion occurred, it blew the back door off the building, but did little more than that to the structure.

The source of ignition for the fire is believed to have been a heater that was on sight, but the fire is still under investigation.

According to Conner, the Holland Road business was insured, but the $75,000 structure sustained $5,000 in damages. The contents were valued at $75,000 and they sustained an estimated $25,000 in damages.

There were no injuries in the fire.