Isaiah Cox started his Thursday morning by popping the question to his girlfriend. The marriage proposal wasn’t the only thing special happening that morning, it was also his new finacee’s birthday. Therefore, Cox wanted to do something extra special for his bride-to-be. He immediately got to work in the kitchen making a celebratory breakfast. However, things didn’t go as planned when a grease fire ignited in the kitchen and the family’s home was set ablaze.
The South Jersey Times reports that Cox made his way to the kitchen to prepare a celebratory meal for his girlfriend. He put a pan of grease on the stove and began to heat it. At that moment he heard his son crying so went to check on him. Cox says he was gone for approximately one minute, but when he came back into the kitchen, the cabinets were on fire. He says in the moment he became “confused” and didn’t even think about reaching for the fire extinguisher in the room.
“I had just put the grease on the stove, I went to check on him [his son], it took about a minute, but when I got back the cabinets were on fire. I threw the pot of grease out of the window to try to put it out. I was so confused, I forgot to grab the fire extinguisher that was right there when you enter the kitchen.”
Cox immediately got his girlfriend, sister, two children and dog out of the home and to safety. The Millville Fire Chief Kurt Hess notes that the fire took quite some time to finally get under control. The firefighters were dispatched to the home at around 10:15 a.m. and the fire was not under control until 1 p.m.
Fire department officials say they are investigating the house fire, but say it appears to be a standard kitchen fire accident. Cox says that when he breathed in smoke from the fire he knew he couldn’t handle the situation himself so that is when he evacuated the home and called the fire department.
“I tried to put it out but once I breathed the smoke in I knew it was too much for me.”
The Daily Mail reports that the fire took place in a multiple family dwelling with other families living in the building. However, fire officials say that everyone escaped unharmed. With the proposal at the center of the early morning fire fiasco, another family was also concerned about a wedding ring following the fire. Leonard Weems, who lives on the first floor of the building, says that his wife was concerned about her wedding ring which was in a jewelry box within the dwelling during the fire. Weems says that fire fighters were able to secure the box and that the ring was not damaged.