WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A fire could have been much worse at a Winston-Salem home were it not for a family’s automatic stovetop fire extinguisher.

On Thursday, the Winston-Salem Fire Department responded to a home on the 700 block of Johnson Circle. Firefighters said that food left cooking on the stove unattended caught fire. The fire department says it was the stovetop fire extinguisher that “saved the family’s home by helping to put out the flames,” according to a Facebook post.

While no one was hurt, photos show the damage left behind in the kitchen, including what appear to be scorch marks on the cabinets over the stove.

  • Scorch marks cover the cabinets in a Winston-Salem kitchen after a fire. (City of Winston-Salem/Facebook)
  • The canister of a stovetop fire extinguisher is open over the stove after helping to put out a fire. (City of Winston-Salem/Facebook)
  • An unopened stovetop fire extinguisher canister sits over the stove after helping to put out a fire. (City of Winston-Salem/Facebook)
  • A stovetop is covered in powder after a fire set off the stovetop fire extinguisher. (City of Winston-Salem/Facebook)

The story serves as both a warning to keep an eye on your stove when it’s in use, as well as a potentially life-saving tip for those unfamiliar with stovetop fire suppressants.

Some in the comments asked how it works. While it’s unclear exactly what kind of device the Winston-Salem family was using, one of the most popular products is the StoveTop FireStop.

The StoveTop FireStop is a product that mounts on your stove’s vent hood. The canister has a fuse and contains a fire-suppressing powder. If the fuse comes in direct contact with fire, the canister will drop the power, helping to suppress the flames. The canister is not activated by routine cooking as the fuse must be in contact with “direct, sustained contact with a flame.”

The product is available for purchase on the StoveTop FireStop website.