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Fireplace Ashes Cause Fire in Highlands

January 6, 2014
For more information contact:
Mark Peterson
, Fire Chief, 425-430-7000

Units from Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department, assisted by Eastside Fire & Rescue, responded to a house fire in the Renton Highlands just before 1:00 a.m. January 6, 2014. Upon arrival, they found a vehicle and carport fully involved in flames and fire extending into the home. All the occupants escaped without injury and the fire was quickly controlled. The fire did approximately $150,000 of damages. Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be ashes that were removed from a fireplace and placed in a plastic container in the carport. This is the latest in several fires that have occurred this winter from improperly disposed of fireplace ashes.

Every year the Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department responds to several fires related to improper disposal of ashes from fireplaces and wood stoves. The following are precautions one should take when disposing of ashes:

  • Make sure ashes are placed in a metal container. Even if you have not had a fire in your wood-burning appliance for several days, hot ashes can be present. Placing ashes in a combustible container is an invitation to tragedy.
  • Never place containers of ashes on a deck or porch, near a structure or inside a plastic garbage collection container. Make sure they are far away from anything that can burn.
  • Ashes are good for soil. A great way to dispose of ashes is to spread them in a garden and wet them down. This will remove any chance of a fire occurring.

There’s nothing more relaxing and pleasant than curling up in front of a warm fire on a cold winter day. The Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department wishes you a safe and relaxing wood- burning season.