Preventing getting burned during the holiday season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Don't get burned this holiday season. Doctors from Research Medical Center's Grossman Burn Center say they see a lot of burn injuries this time of year.

"We see an increase in burns and home fires during the holiday season related to cooking more than we normally do," Dr. Megan Garcia,  Medical Director for the Grossman Burn Unit said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving Day is the peak for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Eve. Dr. Garcia said they see grease fires all year, but they see more injuries from that type of fire around the holidays.

"If there is a grease fire in your home remember you should not try to move that pan or put water on the fire," Garcia said. "What you need to do is cover it with a lid, usually something metal, turn off the heat on that stove. Wait for the smoke to stop, then you can uncover it and make sure the fire has stopped. Moving the pan is a big reason that we see patients here in the burn unit."

Obie Nicholson survived a grease fire at his Oak Street home just before Thanksgiving. He'll turn 70-years-old on Friday. Every Christmas, Nicholson hosts his family's celebration at his house. This year, they'll have to gather somewhere else. But the location of the party doesn't matter much to him.

"I think about the fact that I could possibly have not been here to experience Christmas and the holidays with my family so that's kind of small potatoes to me," Obie Nicholson said.

A grease fire broke out in Nicholson's kitchen just before Thanksgiving.

A chef by trade, he was cooking his signature fried chicken. He walked away for a few minutes and flames erupted.

"At that time, the whole room went dark," Nicholson said. "Something that you can never imagine."

Nicholson crawled out of the backdoor, and made it to safety. He spent about two weeks in the Grossman Burn Center at Truman Medical Center for second and third degree burns on his hands, face and head.

"I feel better than I've ever felt in my life," Nicholson said. " I have an awareness about life, friends, neighbors, reality, safety things."

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