Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa firefighters pull the plug on turkey fryer demonstration, citing hazards

TAMPA — Firefighters were all set to demonstrate in explosive detail what not to do on Thanksgiving by throwing a frozen turkey into hot, boiling oil.

But, they decided, it was too dangerous. Even for them.

If YouTube videos and tales of Thanksgivings past are to be believed, what happens is this: The frozen bird catches fire, explodes into a giant torch and becomes more fireball than Butterball.

Although the National Fire Protection Agency discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the bird in hot oil, fire officials acknowledge people are going to do it anyway.

It poses several serious hazards: fire, injury and property damage, to name a few.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, several firefighters were going to show a gaggle of reporters how bad it could get when a supervisor pulled the plug.

It wasn't safe, they said.

The message they still want Tampa Bay residents to hear is that there really isn't a safe way to cook with an oil-based fryer, officials said.

Just a "safer way" and a "not really safe" way.

According to the fire department, the No. 1 cause of fires in the Tampa Bay area on Thanksgiving is due to cooking mishaps. Fire experts encouraged customers to purchase already fried turkey or use an oil-less turkey fryer as an alternative.

Marissa Lang can be reached at or (813) 226-3386 or on Twitter @Marissa_Jae.

Tampa firefighters pull the plug on turkey fryer demonstration, citing hazards 11/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg council sets millage rate in first budget hearing

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council set the millage rate and gave initial approval to Mayor Rick Kriseman's $538 million budget at Thursday night's hearing.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman talks about the state of the city on Tuesday, two days after Hiurricane Irma passed through the state. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. How many more people would lack coverage under Cassidy-Graham? We can guess


    WASHINGTON — It's safe to say the new Obamacare rollback measure toward which the Senate is charging would mean fewer Americans have health coverage. Exactly how many is unclear. Some argue it could be more than 22 million people. Others say it could be fewer.

  3. Woman's decomposed body found near St. Petersburg railroad tracks


    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman's body was found near the railway tracks behind an empty building at 3100 38th Ave. N, according to St. Petersburg police.

  4. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  5. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).