No persons or animals were injured in the fire, said Gulfport Fire Chief James Marenkovic.
“The damage may not have been as extensive as it was if [the tenant] had had a smoke detector and fire extinguisher,” he said. “The takeaway from this is that smoke detectors and fire extinguishers should be in every home.”
The neighbor living in the other half of the duplex smelled smoke and when she put her hand on the man’s front door, “she felt it was hot,” said Marenkovic. “She called 911.”
Firefighers from Gulfport and St. Petersburg answered the fire alarm.
The cooking food “self-extinguished because it had no more oxygen for the fire to grow,” he said.
Afterward, Marenkovic said he advised the Gulfport-based landlord to make sure that smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are installed.