ESSEX Firefighters are urging people to dispose of hot ashes carefully after a house was badly damaged this afternoon (Thursday 2 March) in Lenthall Avenue in Grays.
When fire crews arrived at the property they reported that smoke was pouring out of the upstairs windows. Crews went to the back of the property and found the seat of fire was a rubbish bin which was against the wall near the back door. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 1:20pm.
Assistant Divisional Officer Paul Gardner said:
“It appears that the residents thought the ashes from their log burner were sufficiently cool to put in the bin. Unfortunately, ashes may appear cool on the outside but can still be hot deep inside and can retain the heat for a considerable time. The ashes smouldered inside the bin and spread to a stack of logs and the back of the property. The smoke filled the entire house and also enterred the neighbouring property.”
The house has suffered extensive smoke damage. The Red Cross Fire Victim Support Unit was called to assist the owners with immediate welfare support.
Incidents like this show how important it is to make sure you never put hot ash, from your fireplace or wood burner, into a bin. We advise everyone to douse ashes and embers with cold water, then store them in a metal bin, away from sheds, fences and buildings until they are completely cool.