Resident uses extinguisher to put out stove top fire

Air freshener wax being warmed on a stovetop on low heat caught fire and filled a kitchen with heavy smoke, resulting in housing units being vacated at Central Park Place Apartments, 1500 13th St.

As neighbors began to exit their apartments about 9 a.m. Sunday, one them, Steve Chapple, retrieved a fire extinguisher and extinguished the flames in the second-floor apartment, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesperson.

Chapple told investigators that he took an extinguisher into the apartment and encountered thick smoke. In the process of extinguishing the fire, Chapple told investigators that he inhaled some smoke, Wilson said. Chapple was transported to Columbus Regional Health for smoke inhalation.

The wax was in a ceramic pot placed on low heat, Wilson said. The occupant left the apartment briefly and upon returning, found heavy smoke inside the kitchen. As the resident entered the apartment, the fire alarm sounded.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental due to an unattended item on a hot cooking surface. The apartment sustained moderate smoke damage, estimated at $1,000, Wilson said.

Central Park Place representatives told investigators that the damaged apartment would be cleaned Sunday so that the resident would be able to return to the apartment.

Central Park Place is a three-story, 63-unit complex with 68 residents.