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Discarded Ashes Cause Fire; Spreads to Home

SBC_FIREOn December 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm a structure fire was dispatched by the SB County Communications Center to a single family home in the 13000 block of Sea Gull Drive in the community of Spring Valley Lake.

Initially reported as a vegetation fire, first-in firefighters upgraded incoming companies to a structure fire response after recognizing the fire spread under the eaves of the home, threatening to run the attic. No residents were home when the fire occurred & an aggressive attack was made by the fire personnel, confining the fire to the exterior of the home shortly after arrival. Moderate smoke entered the interior of the home due to broken windows caused by the fire. Firefighters removed the smoke using positive pressure ventilation.

An investigator confirmed the fire originated next to the exterior wall of the home from a plastic trash can which also was used to dispose of ashes from a nearby ash can.

A total of 17 San Bernardino County Fire personnel responded, including 4 engines, 1 truck, two battalion chiefs and an investigator.

Your San Bernardino County Fire Department reminds our residents to use the following fireplace/wood stove precautions during the winter months:

1) Do not remove ash from the fireplace or stove while embers are hot.
2) Use only a metal receptacle with a metal cover as an ash can.
3) Soak ashes with water in the ash can until it becomes like mud.
4) Allow contents to remain in ash can at least 24 hours (48 hours is better yet).
5) Dispose into trash can only when all of these precautions have been met, and all contents are cold and wet.

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