Disposal of ashes from a fire caused a garage fire at a Coon Rapids residence Sunday and prompted words of caution from the Coon Rapids Fire Department.
Firefighters were called to a garage fire at the home of Edward Wyninger at 1677 119th Ave. N.W., shortly before 1:30 p.m. March 11.
According to Fire Inspector Nick House, who was on the first truck to arrive, the homeowner had managed to put out most of the fire using a garden hose and firefighters completed the work and overhaul.
As a result the fire was confined to the back side of the garage, which will be need new boards and siding, House said.
For the most part the contents of the garage were left intact and the garage remained usable – the fire did not spread to the roof, he said.
While the garage was attached to the house, the fire did not affect the residence, House said.
According to the fire department run report, the origin of the fire was a garbage can on the side of the garage into which the homeowner had put ashes for disposal from a recreational fire he had the previous night.
The fire department wants to remind homeowners not to place embers from a fire into a plastic garbage can close to a building, House said.
Instead, they should be placed into a metal container for seven days or more and if possible, water should be poured on them to ensure the ashes are out, he said.
The fire department has dealt with five fires in the past six to eight months where the embers had been placed in a non-metal container too close to a building, according to House.
“Never put ashes from a fire directly into a plastic garbage container,” House said.
As part of a fire drill last fall on a home that was to be demolished at 99th and Norway, House said embers from a fire were placed in a plastic can close to the house.
“Within two minutes, there was flame, within five minutes the container was fully involved and within 10 minutes the fire had spread to the house,” he said.
House also urged homeowners in the event of a fire to call 911, get the family out of the house, stay outside and not go back inside to fight the fire or retrieve property.
“We have loss of life when that happens,” House said.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]