Discarded Ashes Destroy Garage

September 1, 2013

Discarded ashes from a charcoal grill placed in a city refuse cart caused a garage fire at 19 and 21 N. Baldwin Street.

Residents awoke to the fire burning next to the garage. One of the occupants tried to use a dry chem extinguisher, but was not able to suppress the fire. The occupant also removed a gas can which was near the fire, before the arrival of firefighters.

Firefighters arrived around 4:25 am to find heavy fire showing from the detached garage of the two-story flat. Crews pulled a hose line to the back of the house, where the garage was engulfed in flames. Firefighters extinguished the fire within 15 minutes and prevented the fire from spreading along a wooden fence and potentially to the neighbor's home.

The residents were grilling earlier in the evening. The resident thought the coal ashes were cool so he placed the ashes in a city refuse cart, which was next to the garage. Fire damage is estimated at $20,000. No one was injured.

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips:

• Make sure charcoal has been completely extinguished before disposing of the ashes and storing the grill - ashes may reignite 48 to 72 hours after use.
• Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments.
• Never use a grill indoors!
• If using a fluid to start the charcoal grill, use only starter fluid intended for this purpose. It is extremely dangerous to use any other combustible liquid to start the coals.
• Never apply charcoal lighter (starter) fluid after the charcoal has been lit.
• Store starter fluid away from heat sources and out of reach from children

Contact:
  • Bernadette Galvez, 608-279-7168
  • 608-261-9844