Hot ashes cause fire
Hot ashes discarded from a fireplace set fire to a garage in Greenhithe.
Fire crews were called to the home at around 8.30am on September 20.
Albany fire station officer Grant Mitcheson says a hose was used to put the fire out when a fire extinguisher failed to do the job.
Mr Mitcheson says ashes from a fire the night before had been emptied into a plastic bucket and placed on top of a pile of wood chips in the garage.
The ashes burnt through the bucket and set fire to the wood.
"The message there is to be very careful with hot ashes. Ideally put them in a steel bucket, not near anything combustible," Mr Mitcheson says.
Ashes can stay hot for up to four days, he says, so what may appear cold on the surface could still be dangerous.
"Often if you sprinkle water on top it can form a crust over the ashes and it is still red hot underneath."
Mr Mitcheson says this is not the first home to be set alight by discarded ashes.
"It is lucky this time one of the owners was home to alert us," he says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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