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Improperly disposed ashes blamed for 2 Henrico fires

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Firefighters have responded to two fires sparked by improperly discarded fireplace or wood stove ashes in less than 24 hours in Henrico County over the weekend.

Officials said that one of the blazes burned a shed and three different yards.

In another fire, a house was damaged and a deck was completely destroyed after ashes were set outside two days before the fire started.

No one was injured.

In the wake of these fires, Henrico Fire is offering these safety tips:

  • Use a fire-resistant metal ash shovel to scoop out ashes and place them into a fire-resistant metal can with a tight fitting lid.
  • Take the container outside away from combustibles, including your home’s deck; wet the ashes, and then cover with the lid. Hot coals in a pile of ashes can last up to 4 days, so let the ashes cool for at least that long.
  • NEVER keep the metal can in or near your home; keeping it at least 10 feet away.
  • NEVER use a paper bag, cardboard box, or plastic trash bag to dispose of ashes.
  • NEVER use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
  • NEVER place the metal container next to the firewood pile, against the garage, on or under a wooden deck or under a porch.