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Improperly Discarded Fireplace Ashes Causes Fire That Threatened Placerville Home

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Placerville, Calif.,  (November 29, 2023) — Just before 2 p.m. today firefighters responded to the area of Cold Springs Rd and Marva Ln north of Placerville for a reported house fire. Engine 25 and Medic 49 arrived and found a smoldering fire that a homeowner had extinguished near the front porch area. Firefighters assured the fire was extinguished. The cause of the fire was determined to be improperly discarded fireplace ashes that had been transferred from a metal can to a paper bag and then set near the porch. A stack of firewood was also present around the porch and some firewood had become involved. The resident had believed the ashes were cool prior to transferring them to a paper bag for disposal. No injuries were reported.

El Dorado County Fire Protection District urges residents to follow these tips to prevent fires involving fireplace ashes:

Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from the home and any other buildings or flammable materials such as wood piles.

  • Ashes should never be stored inside of a building.
  • Never use paper or plastic bags or cardboard or plastic boxes to store ashes.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Ashes can take 4-7 days to cool completely.
  • Never empty the ashes directly into a trash can.
  • Pour water on the ashes before disposing of them.


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Please follow these tips to prevent fires related to discarded fireplace ashes.
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