‘By the grace of God’: Homeowner’s quick actions save his house and himself after grill fire – what to know if it happens to you

MADISON, Wis. – Madison resident Jonathan Woods has just minor burns on his arm to show after his grill caught fire earlier this week.

Woods suspects a faulty regulator was the reason for the fire, which shot from beneath the grill into his face before overtaking the grill itself.

“I came out, opened the grill up, looked underneath, opened the tank up, listened very carefully just to make sure there was no leak or anything,” Woods said Saturday. “All of the sudden, I hear (a noise), and I go, oh boy, because I know that’s a gas leak.”

Woods moved the grill away from his house before attempting to turn the gas off with a towel. When that didn’t help, he grabbed multiple fire extinguishers from his home and was able to put out the flames before firefighters arrived.

The whole thing took place in seven minutes,” Woods said. “In the time the fire (exploded) and blew up to the time the fire department got here was just seven minutes.”

Tonight, Madison Fire Department is commending Woods quick thinking.

Having a good quality fire extinguisher is really important,” said firefighter Zack Hake. “Making sure you check it every so often. Make sure it’s within its date, because they can expire, and making sure it’s still pressurized.”

Hake says during the summer, MFD responds to roughly one grill-related call per week, most of which could be avoided if the user had access to a fire extinguisher.

Ahead of a busy grilling weekend, Woods wants others to be aware a fire could happen in an instant, making it necessary to be aware.

Just make sure you have that fire extinguisher and it’s in the right location,” he said. “We were by the grace of God spared that and were able to take the grill out.”