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Smoking turkey sparks fire, burns house down day before Thanksgiving

DELMONT, S.D. — A Delmont family was displaced after a smoked turkey caught fire and completely destroyed their home the day before Thanksgiving.

Joe Gastonguay was preparing supper for his family on Nov. 21 inside their home when he noticed a heavy smoke odor and flames on the porch, a Delmont law enforcement official said Tuesday, Nov. 27.

The fire reportedly spread across the structure and burned the residence to the ground. It was a complete loss. The family escaped the fire unharmed and received emergency help from the regional American Red Cross office.

The following recommendations are offered by the National Fire Association to decrease the risk for those who choose to smoke or fry a turkey at home:

  • Keep fryers and smokers off decks and porches and out of garages, and keep a safe distance away from structures and trees.
  • Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer or smoker outdoors in the rain or snow.
  • Place the fryer or smoker on a level surface and avoid moving it once it’s in use.
  • Leave at least two feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  • Never leave fryers or smokers unattended.
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