PROVO, Utah, Jan. 5, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A fire caused by a box of ashes and soot caused upwards of $200,000 in damages to a Provo home Thursday.
Capt. Dean York of the Provo Fire Department said crews responded at about 11:15 a.m. to the residence, at 95 S. 2050 West.
York said a resident of the home had emptied the fireplace, put soot and ashes into a cardboard box and placed it on the wooden back porch, which ignited the fire. The fire then spread to the attic of the home.
The five residents of the home escaped the home safely, as did their pets.
York said that with the extensive fire, smoke and water damage, the blaze is estimated to have caused $200,000 to $250,000 in damages, rendering the home a total loss.
The family is displaced and will be assisted by the Red Cross.
York said the incident serves as a reminder that if you are clearing a fireplace and have ashes or soot to dispose of, you should place them in a metal container preferably on a concrete surface.
He also said that though this was not the case in this incident, crews have been encountering many fire hydrants that are blanketed with snow, which slows firefighting efforts. He reminded homeowners to always clear the snow from fire hydrants, as well as from pavements and driveways.
Fire trucks carry a finite amount of water, so one of responders’ first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant. Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time needed during a fire fight.