For Immediate Release - February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014 - Improper Disposal of Woodstove Ashes Causes Granville Fire

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Granville Fire Chief Scott Loomis said last night’s fire in a home at 1577 Main Street in Granville was started by improper disposal of woodstove ashes.

Fire Marshal Coan said, “People often just don’t realize how long a single ember can stay live hidden in what appear to be stone cold ashes. One ember can stay live for as long as a week as happened last Monday in Uxbridge.” Since the first of the year, fires from the improper disposal of woodstove or fireplace ashes have also occurred in Oakham, Cohasset, and Bridgewater.

Chief Loomis said, “In our area, many people use wood as a primary or supplemental heating source. It’s important to know how to safely dispose of fireplace and woodstove ashes.”

Fire officials offered these safety tips for disposing of ashes:

  • Dispose of ashes in metal can, with a tight fitting lid; don’t use a paper or plastic bag, or plastic container or mix with regular trash.
  • Store ashes away from the house or garage, not inside, or on the porch or underneath it where embers can easily be fanned back to life.
  • Wait at least a week if not more before emptying the metal ashcan.
  • Wet ashes before disposing of them, just like you would a campfire.

Coan added, “No one expects a fire to happen in their home, so take a moment to be prepared for the unexpected by making sure your have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home.”

For more winter heating fire safety tips go to: www.mass.gov/keepwarmkeepsafe.