Kiama fire station open day deals with hot topics | PHOTOS

A fiery lesson in why water shouldn’t be added to burning oil has made for the highlight of a fire station open day at Kiama. 

About 300 people inspected the station’s trucks and had a go on its fire hoses, Saturday. 

The crowd gave a collective ‘‘ooh’’ and sprang back about a metre during the kitchen oil fire demonstration.

‘‘The flame goes about three metres up in the air, showing what would happen if you did it wrong,’’ Captain Mitchell said.

‘‘People are a bit more educated about not doing it these days, but there’s always someone who leaves oil on the stove too long, then the first thing they do is grab some water.’’ 

In a related demonstration, a saucepan lid was used to properly snuff out the flames. 

The open day included an extensive gallery of photographs gathered from Kiama’s fire-fighting past, including scenes from the 1899 blaze that started in a hotel feed store and took out much of the main street. 

A month later, a second fire began, this time in a hardware store, that burnt along in the opposite direction. 

‘‘A lot of the younger generation didn’t know the main street got burned down,’’ Captain Mitchell said.

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