Robert B. Lay, Fire Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Groveland Fire Department Reminds Residents to Properly Dispose of Ashes After Firefighters Battle Garage Fire
GROVELAND – Chief Robert Lay reports that the Groveland Fire Department quelled a garage fire that most likely ignited after embers from either a fireplace or wood stove were carelessly disposed of in nearby brush. The chief is today reminding residents to follow proper procedures when cleaning their fireplaces and stoves.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 5:24 p.m., firefighters received a report of an outside brush fire at 4 Bare Hill Road that had spread to an adjacent garage.
Groveland Engines 1, 2 and 3 responded to the scene, along with Georgetown Ladder 1 and Georgetown Car 1 to assist crews. West Newbury Engine 24 covered Central Station. Groveland Captain Kurt Ruchala was the incident commander on scene.
The fire, which was contained to the outside of the detached garage, with moderate extension into the roof area, was swiftly knocked down by the quickly responding firefighters. Chief Lay estimates the garage sustained approximately $10,000 worth of damage.
“Our on-call firefighters arrived quickly, in good numbers, and were able to severely limit the damage, ultimately saving the structure,” Chief Lay said. “It was a good all-around effort with help from our neighbors providing mutual aid as well.”
Firefighters determined that the fire broke out in the brush, from embers that were improperly disposed of close to the garage.
Chief Lay reminds residents that, to prevent fires, ashes cleaned out from fireplaces or stoves should be shoveled into a metal bucket with a metal lid and placed outside on the ground away from homes.
Do NOT place ashes into a paper bag or cardboard box and refrain from dumping them onto the ground, as embers can stay hot for days and ignite combustibles. The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services reports that there have been many recent fires from ashes stored underneath a deck or porch, inside the garage or from ashes stored in cardboard boxes.
“This, unfortunately, is an example of what can happen when ashes are disposed of improperly,” Chief Lay said. “Even if embers do not appear to be hot, they can ignite dry brush that will spread rapidly.”