Bend home destroyed by fire; discarded wood stove ashes to blame

Courtesy Bend Fire & Rescue
  |  

A Bend home was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.

Bend Fire & Rescue Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said crews were called to a home on Nugget Avenue in south Bend around 8:30 a.m. and found the home in flames.

The house is considered a complete loss with about $100,000 in damages to the building and contents, he said.

The occupants were not home at the time and the family dog was found safe outside when crews arrived.

Fire investigators on scene determined the fire was caused by the improper disposal of wood stove ashes, Derlacki said.

Ashes were placed into a paper bag next to the stove. The bag ignited and the fire spread the adjacent furniture and carpeting.

“As we head into winter and woodstove season, Bend Fire Department wants to remind everyone to ensure they are using, cleaning and maintaining their woodstoves properly to prevent more fires like this,” he said.

Ash is a great insulator and can stay hot for days after the last fire.

For that reason, the best way to dispose of ash is to place it into a non-combustible container with a tight-fitting lid such as a metal bucket.

The bucket should be stored away from combustibles until the ash is cold to the touch.

At that point, the ash can be discarded into a trash can or spread on the ground. Metal buckets with lids can be purchased at most home improvement/hardware stores or woodstove retailers.

The tight-fitting lit keeps the ash from igniting anything and prevents carbon monoxide from releasing into the house from the hot ash.

Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your house whether you use a wood stove or not.

Working alarms more than doubles your families chance of surviving a fire in your home.

More safety information about woodstoves and heating appliances can be found at the link below:

https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/departments/fire-rescue/safety-tips-emergency-preparedness/fall-winter-safety-tips

Sunriver Fire Department responded to the fire scene and Redmond Fire Department provided an engine to help cover Bend until the fire was controlled.

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