“Smells Like Food”

Issue 110 and Volume 162.

By Michael N. Ciampo How often have you heard the familiar transmission “smells like food” over the radio while beginning your on-scene size-up? Responding to a report of smoke on the first floor, we arrived to find nothing showing. After we entered the lobby, our noses instinctively told us that there was an odor of food burning somewhere in the building. (Certain smells or odors will be engrained into your senses, like burning food, burning paper, and melting plastic.) A tenant down the hallway opened her door and yelled, “Down here!” As we made our way into the apartment, the tenant said she had burned some food and wanted us to check that everything was okay. We notified the chief that we were investigating a “food on the stove.” The tenant remained outside as we ventured into the apartment and noticed a slight haze hanging just below ceiling level. We…

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