When a local resident went to bed Saturday night she never thought she would be awoken by emergency responders in the middle of the night.
Shortly before midnight on Sunday, April 8, residents on St. Violet Dr. in St. Peters noticed flames coming from the back of their neighbor’s home and called 911. CCFR and the St. Charles County Ambulance District immediately responded, and arrived to find the deck and back of the home in flames, and the homeowner asleep inside.
“With the assistance of the St. Charles County Ambulance District were able to get the homeowner out of the house, and get the fire under control before it spread to the roof, attic, and inside the home,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.
The cause of the fire, and $30,000 in damage, was linked to outdoor fireplace ashes that were emptied into a combustible container next to the deck earlier that day.
“Fireplace, grill and other ashes can stay hot for days after the fire is extinguished,” explains Mason. “Because of this, ashes should always be disposed of in a metal container that is stored at least six-feet away from the house, deck, or anything else that could catch fire.”
In addition to properly disposing ashes, “We recommend residents follow these safety tips and use extreme caution when using outdoor fireplaces and grills,” says Mason.
Grilling and Outdoor Fireplace Safety Tips
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Supervise children and pets around any fire outdoors, including campfires, fire pits, chimineas, and outdoor fireplaces.
- Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
- Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.
- Keep the grill or fireplace away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Ensure that the fire is completely out before disposing of ashes in a metal container that is placed away from the house and deck.