Ash Fire - Central County Fire & Rescue

Ash Fire

fireplace ashes

Two-Day-Old Fireplace Ashes Nearly Spark Garage Fire 

Something didn’t smell right. This smell of something burning prompted a resident of the Park Charles subdivision in St. Peters to call 911. When Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters arrived on the scene they knew the distinctive smell of burning plastic. When they entered the garage a thermal imaging (infrared) camera helped them discover a plastic bucket with smoldering fireplace ashes burning through the bucket.

The ashes were more than two days old but were still hot enough to start a fire. “If the homeowner had not called when he did this could have quickly turned in to a major house fire,” said CCFR Chief Russ Mason. “Fireplace ashes can stay hot enough to start a fire for days after they are removed. It is critically important to dispose of fireplace, fire pit and barbeque grill ashes in a metal bucket that is stored away from the house.”

“During the holidays we see more and more people using their fireplaces. Residents need to remember safety first when starting a fire indoors,” said Mason.

The top four ways to prevent a fireplace fire are to:

  • Check the chimney and flue to ensure it is clear of debris.
  • Use a fireproof screen in front of the fire.
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal trash can that is stored at least six-feet away from.
  • Keep all decorations and other items that can catch fire at least three-feet away from the fireplace.


About Central County Fire & Rescue
The Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) District is one of the largest fire districts in Missouri, covering 72-square miles of St. Charles County, MO and a population of 90,000. A team of 82 firefighter/EMTs, fire inspectors and operational staff work together to keep the St. Peters and St. Charles, MO community safe. This well trained team operates six fire stations, seven days a week. A three member, citizen-elected Board of Directors, leads the District.