By Stephanie Clue 
BELLEVILLE – An unattended pot of cooking oil caused a kitchen fire on Moira Street East Wednesday night.
The call came in at 6:55 p.m., Insp. Tim Vanhecke of the Belleville Fire Department  said in a new release Thursday. The firefighters found a small pot of oil on the stove as the cause of the fire. It had almost been extinguished by the residents using baking soda and a lid to smother the flames by the time they arrived.
Under the command of acting captain Mike MacDonald, the remaining flames were extinguished with a portable fire extinguisher.
The initial damage estimate is $1,000.
“It is always recommended that people never leave any cooking unattended, even for a minute,” said Vanhecke.
The fire was small but could have escalated to something much bigger, Vanhecke said.
The smoke alarm in the home did activate but the homeowners took out the battery to stop the noise after calling the fire department.
People are urged to remember that it’s an offence under the Ontario Fire Code  to remove batteries from smoke alarms unless you are putting in a new one.