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Discarded fireplace ashes sparked a fire that caused approximately $2,000 to a house in the 800 block of Federal Hill Road in Street, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Discarded fireplace ashes sparked a fire that caused approximately $2,000 to a house in the 800 block of Federal Hill Road in Street, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. (Courtesy Office of the State Fire Marshal)

Discarded fireplace ashes reportedly sparked a fire that caused approximately $2,000 to a house in Harford County, prompting the Office of the State Fire Marshal to remind people to properly dispose of ashes and coals.

Firefighters responded to the two-story, single-family home in the 800 block of Federal Hill Road in Street just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to a notice of investigation from the fire marshal.

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It took firefighters from the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company approximately 5 minutes to control the fire, which began in the rear porch of the house. There were no injuries and the fire was contained to the exterior of the home.

All ashes and coals should be treated as hot ashes, even when you think they have had enough time to cool, the fire marshal’s office stated in the notice.

“Take care to dispose of them wisely. Your house, deck or garage are unsafe locations for storing ashes while they cool and have been the site of many recent and devastating fires both locally and nationally. Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep it outside and at least 10 feet from your home or nearby buildings,” the notice stated.

The fire marshal offered the following tips related to disposing of ashes:

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
  • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches or in garages.
  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
  • Keep your can outside the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood stove.
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