Self-cleaning oven believed to be cause of New Town house fire

2 adults, 5 children escape blaze

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family was able to escape after their New Town home caught fire Thursday morning, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said.

Two adults and five children were able to safely get out of the home on Rushing Street -- between Kings Road and West Beaver Street -- when the fire started in their kitchen, Fire Rescue said. 

According to the family and fire officials, an oven that was on self-cleaning mode was believed to have caused the blaze.

"He said it stayed in the stove. The only damage was (to) the back door," said 18-year-old Jitandra Ryan.

Ryan told News4Jax that she's thankful a bathroom break in the middle of the night led to her and five siblings making it out of the home alive. 

"He just screamed and we all jumped up and were outside in a minute," she said. 

Ryan said she, her boyfriend and the five young children were sleeping when her boyfriend woke up and smelled smoke.

He and fire officials said the oven was on self-cleaning mode at the time and caused the fire. 

Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, told News4Jax that does happen from time to time, and warned anyone with a self-cleaning oven of the potential safety hazards that could cause a fire. 

"With a self-cleaning oven, it can create temperatures above, over 600 degrees," Wyse said. "Basically, any food or grease that is left in there, it turns it into an ash. When that occurs when you go into a self-cleaning cycle, it locks."

Wyse said people should never go to sleep while the cycle is on and if it's turned on by accident, he recommended cutting the power at the breaker for 30 seconds. He also warned to be careful when cleaning an oven with any materials that could be flammable at temperatures higher than 400 degrees. 

"So if that ever occurred, what you want to do is immediately get out of your house, call 911 immediately and they will let professionals come in and take care of it," Wyse said. 

The Red Cross is assisting Ryan and her family. 

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