On a typical Tuesday morning, students in Stacy Hardcastle’s second period of culinary arts faced the capricious outbreak of a conflagration over Grandma’s homemade pancakes. As a student made a simple mistake, her peers needed to reflect on the safety lesson taught at the beginning of the year in order to manage the flames while refraining from anarchy.
As partners Jill Carter and Maya Harrison worked on making a batch of pancakes, a fire fomented due to the pan being overheated. Out of instinct, Harrison managed to pour water over the fire in hopes to suppress it. To their dismay, grease fires only grow when water is added to the mix.
“I saw the fire and grabbed the water [for there is water at each station for said situations],” Harrison said. “But it only got worse.”
A student nearby, Cole Dean, remembered the lesson held on kitchen safety towards the beginning of this school year.
“We had to grab baking soda to like… put out the fire properly,” Dean said. “Mrs.Hardcastle taught us that in the beginning of the year.”
All the meanwhile, Hardcastle was monitoring the twenty stations disseminated throughout the class. By the time she arrived, the damage was done.
“I was rotating around the twenty groups cooking,” Hardcastle said. “Because the fire was so large, it melted the counter and destroyed the burner, as well as resulting in burn damage on the cabinet and ceiling.”
Thankfully, this fire did not burn out the optimism at LCC. With winter break around the corner, the station is hoped to be renewed once the students return from the two weeks off. Along with a new station – provided by the schools income – an updated safety meeting was called to attention.
“Well, we talked about it in class afterwards and we made new safety classifications. A large box of baking soda was added to each station to prevent this was happening again,” Hardcastle said.
While a fire can most definitely be a terrifying experience, Dan Stuart is able to bring light to the situation.
“I inhaled the cloud of smoke,” Stuart said. “It was quite traumatizing, I will never eat pancakes again.”