Short doco shows speed of kitchen fires

20:03, Jul 03 2012
Fire documentary
HOT WORK: SIT film students Neville Reedy, left, and Sandor Balogh shoot an educational short documentary for the Fire Service in Invercargill.

A new mini-documentary filmed in Invercargill aims to show just how much damage can be left in the wake of a kitchen fire.

The documentary is a partnership between third-year Southern Institute of Technology film students and the Invercargill Fire Brigade.

It was filmed in a mock kitchen with a real fire. It shows a pot going up in flames after being left unattended and the fire spreading to the rest of the room.

Southland fire risk manager Paul Glanville said the film would first be shown, alongside the charred remains of the kitchen cubicle, at the ILT Kidzone festival early next month.

The video illustrated how quickly unattended cooking could become dangerous,, he said.

"It'll be tapping into all of the senses – sight, sound, touch, smell. With the firefighters there and the video ... it just puts together the whole picture, the overall picture."


Unattended cooking was a major issue for the Fire Service in the south and throughout the rest of the country. Twenty-five per cent of house fires began in the kitchen, he said. "I think people underestimate the speed and consequences of fire as a whole, so one of the things about the video is it will show how fire really develops."

Film tutor Andy Mosse said nine third-year film and media students were involved in the project, which simulated a woman receiving a phone call and leaving her home – forgetting about a pot on the stovetop.

Being involved in the documentary project was a good way for students to practise filming in a higher-risk situation, he said.

"It's a good way of learning what kind of measures to take to keep safe. Personal safety is completely key and then the second priority is the gear ... neither of which you want to get damaged."

Stringent safety measures for those involved on-set included being "shadowed" by firefighters during filming.

The Southland Times