Archive for Thursday, January 3, 2002

Disposed fireplace ashes spark Eudora garage fire

January 3, 2002

Disposed fireplace ashes caused a garage fire in the 1700 block of Hawthorne Street Monday morning. No one was injured.

The fire started in the trash can and caused damage to contents in the garage, including totaling one car and causing damage to another. With the fire damage to the garage and smoke damage in other parts of the home, Fire Chief Spencer McCabe said he estimated a $35,000 loss.

"The fire damage was minimal," he said. "The smoke damage was extensive."

One of the home's residents reported smelling smoke at about 10:50 a.m. Eudora police and firefighters responded shortly afterward. McCabe said the crew's 3-minute response time was commendable.

Several firefighters, equipped with air tanks, entered the home through the front door with hoses. Later, firefighters dismantled the garage door from the outside, although the aluminum door was difficult to break through. McCabe said once firefighters were trained on the equipment, the department has a saw capable of cutting through difficult materials, like aluminum.

The situation was better than it could have been because the cars in the garage had full tanks of gas, McCabe said. Emptier tanks are represent a higher risk of igniting because they have more fumes than full tanks, he said.

McCabe said if people using fireplaces must dispose of the ashes in the trash, they should place them in a metal bucket, not a regular trash can, and hose them down with a garden hose.

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