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Laurel Family Survives House Fire Sparked During Turkey Preparation

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Laural Turkey Fire
Christie Ileto 370 x 278 Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She...
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LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)—A Laurel family is safe after a dangerous turkey related fire that ignited overnight.

Christie Ileto has more on the dangers that come with preparing your Thanksgiving turkey.

The back of Clyde Austin’s home is charred this Thanksgiving–rather than just the turkey he says his daughter was attempting to smoke on their deck Wednesday night.

“Between her watching television and coming out every 10 minutes to check, all of a sudden I heard this ‘kaboom,’” Austin said.

Prince George’s and Anne Arundel fire crews say they responded to the home around 11 p.m. Wednesday on the 500- block of Prince George’s Street.

“I saw my whole back deck was on fire,” Austin said.

Neighbors say the flames were so massive they could be seen from blocks away.

“It was unbelievable. I was really, really shaken up,” said Cathy Sansosti, neighbor.

One neighbor captured the fire billowing from the home.

Austin says the flames quickly spread throughout the rear of the home. The family of three escaped out their front door.

Officials say there are several dangers associated with cooking turkeys this holiday, especially when it comes to deep frying a turkey.

Fire crews warn dropping a frozen bird into a hot vat of oil is recipe for disaster.

“If you’re going to choose to cook your turkey this way instead of the traditional way, take all the precautions you can,” a firefighter said.

In the meantime, Austin and his family are picking up the pieces of what’s left of their home.

“Right now we’re meeting with an adjuster, and trying to see what they have to offer,” he said.

While the Austins can’t celebrate Thanksgiving in their home, they are giving thanks they survived the fire unharmed.

The family says the home has major smoke and water damage, and that it may be months until they can move back.

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