UPDATE: Fireplace ashes possible source of garage fire, firefighters sayA Woodbury man was displaced from his home last week after fire destroyed a garage at the townhome he rented and smoke damaged its living space.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
A Woodbury man was displaced from his home last week after fire destroyed a garage at the townhome he rented and smoke damaged its living space.
The fire, which occurred late Thursday at 2232 Cypress Drive, was contained to an attached garage at a townhome. The resident, who was home at the time, escaped without harm. Woodbury Fire Chief Todd Johnson said the renter was displaced due to smoke damage inside the townhome.
The resident, identified as Jeremiah Johnson, is a serviceman who had only days before returned from active duty in Afghanistan, Johnson said..
Woodbury Fire Department Capt. Chris Klein said a neighbor called at 11:16 p.m. Thursday for a report of smoke in a garage.
Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting from the garage. A neighboring garage also was damaged.
“We did a pretty good job knocking it down in a hurry,” he said.
Johnson said Monday that investigators were still looking into the fire’s cause, but were keying in on the possibility that fireplace ashes might played a role.
He said fireplace ashes from the previous day had been placed in a receptacle in the garage.
“We’re sort of focusing in on that,” Johnson said.
Whether or not the ashes are determined to be the cause, he said the case still illustrates the hazards of disposing of spent ashes.
Johnson recommended waiting at least 72 hours before placing ashes – whether from a fireplace or an outdoor pit – in a receptacle.
He acknowledged that the process means people will have to wait longer than they might think is necessary. Anything less opens the possibility for danger, Johnson said.
“There certainly is a potential that a fire can occur,” he said.