Residents faced the flames in Montecito as part of a training class for fire extinguishers.
While it may seem simple, it's easy to use an extinguisher wrong. If you do, the fire will still be burning and you will have an empty container in your hand.
Today, a group of residents, some from the Casa Dorinda Retirement home, learned about ways to fight small fires. They took a short class then went out to a testing area. The session was held at the headquarters for the Montecito Fire Protection
Van Joy from Joy Equipment Protection showed them fire extinguishers you can buy at any home or hardware store. He advised the residents to aim at the base of the fire and not just at the top of the flames.
"You don't want to start off too far back or start off too close. You want to know what you are doing," said Joy. He said a small fire extinguisher can shoot a chemical to snuff out a fire for about eight seconds.
That's usually enough for a basic small car or home fire.
Information Officer Geri Ventura said many small fires can be stopped by either an extinguisher or, in the case of a stove fire, a wet cloth on top of the pan as an effective response. If the fire gets into cabinets or shelving, it will be too big for a resident to safely fight themselves.
They both said residents should never risk an injury or hesitate to call the fire department.