Investigators with Mooresville Fire-Rescue determined that a house fire Friday was caused by discarded ashes from a fire pit, a news release stated.
Fire Marshal Geoff Woolard stated in the release that residents of a home on Madelia Place, in the Curtis Pond community, emptied the contents of a fire pit into their trash between 7-7:30 a.m. Firefighters were dispatched before 9:30 a.m. after the ashes developed into a blaze and were discovered by a family member.
The release noted residents thought the ashes had cooled overnight.
The Record & Landmark reported Friday the home’s roof, attic and second story were charred black and seemed to be totally destroyed. Firefighters had nearly extinguished the fire in just over an hour with only a few small flames burning the home’s attic.
Woolard said that ashes must be properly cooled before they can be safely disposed.
“Ashes from a fireplace or outside fire pit should never be discarded right away in a plastic trash can, cardboard box or paper bag,” he stated. “A good rule of thumb is to let the ashes cool at least 24 hours in the fire pit and check to see if any hot ashes remain by using a scoop or metal fire poker.”
If hot ashes aren’t present, the debris can be placed into a metal bucket, or container with a lid to sit outside for an additional 24-48 hours before being bagged for trash collection, the release said. Woolard added residents should check if their trash service accepts cold ashes during regular trash service.