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PHOENIX -- Before you fire up the barbeque this Labor Day weekend, make sure it's in good working order, and that you know what you're doing.

That's the message from the Phoenix Fire Department. They respond to hundreds of barbeque fires every year, and they don't want a repeat of a fatal fire that happened last Labor Day.

"We had a 13-year-old child who went out to light a grill," said Phoenix Fire Captain Jonathan Jacobs. "He actually didn't know what type of fluid that he was putting on the grill. It happened to be gasoline. That was a fatality fire for him."

Jacobs said if you're using propane, make sure your propane tank is upright, and that the hose that comes from the tank to the grill isn't cracked and is in good shape.

He also demonstrated that if you wait too long after turning the propane on, a flame could shoot up when you light the grill. That's what happened to him only five seconds after turning the propane on.

"You're going to get a major explosion of that gas that's just pocketing in your grill area," Jacobs said.

He said that if you use charcoal, always soak the coals with water after you're done cooking.

The Phoenix Fire Department has other barbeque safety tips at http://phoenix.gov/fire/safety/outdoor/bbq/.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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