Improper disposal of wood stove ashes cause of Falmouth blaze

– State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Falmouth Fire Chief Michael Small said the cause of the March 26, 2018 fire at 15 Providence Street, Falmouth was the improper disposal of wood stove ashes. Fortunately, no one was injured in the 1:45 AM fire.

The residents had placed wood stove ashes on the rear deck in a plastic trash container earlier in the day. The fire grew undetected on the exterior of the home.

Chief Small said, “A single ember can stay hot, undetected, for days, in what seems like cold ashes from a fireplace or wood stove. Use a metal can with a lid to store ashes away from the home.”

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “We have had several fires in the past few weeks started when ashes from pellet and woodstoves were stored in a plastic bag or container right next to the house, under or on the deck, or in the garage. A single ember can easily be fanned back to life by a breeze, and these fires grow undetected outside the house where there are no smoke alarms to give early warning of danger.”

Members of the Falmouth Fire Department and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal jointly investigated this fire.

The Department of Fire Services has winter heating safety tips so that people can Keep Warm, Keep Safe.
Media release furnished by Mass Department of Fire Services, photo by Falmouth Fire Rescue Department/CWN

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