WENHAM–Chief Stephen Kavanagh reports that the Wenham Fire Department responded to a garage fire this evening caused by improper disposal of fireplace ashes.
At 5:43 p.m., the Wenham Fire and Police Departments were dispatched to 46 William Fairfield Drive. Upon arrival, scene commander Capt. John Joyce and responding crews observed heavy smoke coming from the garage of the home and quickly extinguished a smoldering trash can inside the garage.
Following an on-scene investigation, the Wenham Fire Department determined that the fire was the result of improper disposal of ashes from a fireplace inside the home earlier in the day.
“It can often take several hours for smoldering ashes to noticeably burn when they’ve been improperly disposed of, but thankfully a tragedy was averted in this case,” Chief Kavanaugh said.
The Wenham Fire Department wishes to share these tips for proper disposal of ashes and coals from the National Fire Protection Association:
- If possible, allow ashes and coals to cool in the area of the fire for several days. Chimneys and fire pits are designed to safely contain heat.
- When it is time to dispose of ashes, transfer them to a metal container and wet them down.
- Keep the metal container outdoors and away from combustibles
- Do not place any other refuse in the can with the ashes
- Do not use a combustible container to dispose of ashes
There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and the home suffered moderate smoke damage in the area of the fire.