January 16, 2012— Improperly discarded fireplace ashes are to blame for an early morning house fire in Madrona. At 4:37 a.m., Firefighters were called to a two-story home located in the 3400 block of East Howell Street.
Arriving firefighters found smoke coming from the house. The couple who lived at the residence safely evacuated. The fire started at the exterior of the home. The flames burned up the side of the home and into the eaves of the roof. Firefighters were able to knock down all of the flames.
The homeowner had placed fireplace ashes in a container which was outside yet adjacent to the home. The ashes continued to smolder and lit the house on fire. There are no damage estimates at this time.
There were no injuries.
The Seattle Fire Department Public Education Unit has these rules to prevent fireplace or woodstove fires from happening at your house.
• If you use a fireplace to heat your home have your chimney inspected by a professional and if necessary cleaned before each heating season. Creosote can build up along the inside of the chimney and pose a fire hazard.
• Always use a firescreen to contain sparks.
• Never burn rubbish
• Make certain anything flammable is kept a safe distance away from the fireplace.
• Never leave fires unattended, especially in areas used by children or pets.
• Clean out the ashes when cool and place in a metal container.
• Keep ash container a safe distance from your home.