Mooresville Fire-Rescue says hot ashes caused Friday house fire



Mooresville Fire-Rescue investigators have determined that a house fire in the Curtis Pond community on July 5 originated in an outside trash can containing discarded ashes from a fire pit.

Thinking the ashes from the pit had cooled overnight, the Madelia Place residents emptied the contents of the fire pit into their trash can between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. that morning. Mooresville Fire-Rescue was dispatched to the home just before 9:25 a.m. after a resulting blaze from the ashes was discovered by a family member.

Knowing how to properly dispose of ashes from a fire pit or fireplace is important for preventing future fires and loss. Ashes must properly cool to make sure they are safe to dispose of. “Ashes from a fireplace or outside fire pit should never be discarded right away in a plastic trash can, cardboard box, or paper bag,” said Geoff Woolard, Fire Marshal.  “A good rule of thumb is to let the ashes cool at least 24 hours in the fire pit and check to see if any hot ashes remain by using a scoop or metal fire poker.” 

If no hot embers or ashes are found, the ashes can be placed into a metal bucket or container with a lid to sit outside for an additional 24-48 hours before finally bagging for trash pickup. Woolard added that residents should also make sure their trash service will accept cold ashes as part of their normal pick-up policy. 

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Author: Niakeya James