Fireplace ashes a hazard
January 5, 2016
Fireplace ashes may ignite a new fire even after being stored for up to five months.
East Fork Fire Investigator Capt. Terry Taylor said he's seen re-ignition of ashes up to two months later.
"As long as there's fuel to glow, they can cause ignition," he said. "I had a set of cans, and the last can I poured out into some cheat grass started a fire within 20 minutes."
A Sunday night fire in a Lassen Way garage claimed a vehicle and forced the occupant out of the home.
"She used the wood stove and kept the ashes in a can, before dumping them in the plastic can," Taylor said.
However, the ashes hadn't had enough time to cool and they set the plastic garbage bin on fire, which spread to the vehicle and the garage.
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The home was rendered uninhabitable by the fire.
Firefighters gave her a $1,000 check from the Burn Fund, which is raised by volunteer firefighters and the Firefighters Association.
Taylor said the woman is staying with her sister while she looks for a new place.
The best plan is to water them down when dumping them, Taylor said.
Firefighters responded to an unrelated apartment fire on Hussman Avenue in Gardnerville 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Five apartments were rendered uninhabitable by the fire. Seven residents of Pebble Creek Apartments were displaced by the fire.