The owners of a house in Portland’s East Deering neighborhood where a fire broke out Tuesday afternoon prevented further damage to their residence because they kept a door closed between the kitchen, where the fire started, and the home’s living area.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Nixon said the door’s being closed kept the kitchen fire, which was reported at 4:39 p.m. at 274 Sherwood St., from spreading.

As a result, the kitchen sustained heavy smoke damage, but the family was able to return to their home Tuesday night. No one was injured. Three people and a dog were inside the home when the fire broke out.

Nixon said the residents were preheating their oven to cook a pizza but forgot that they had left a plastic cutting board inside the oven. The cutting board ignited, generating flames similar to what happens when gasoline ignites, the deputy chief said.

The family called 911 and fled the two-story home. Nixon said fire crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire.

Nixon said fire officials recommend closing interior doors at night, especially to bedrooms, because a closed door can slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

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