Ashes set wall on fire
Tokoroa Chief fire officer Dave Morris is urging residents to be vigilant with their fire ashes after a fire broke out last week.
Last Tuesday the fire brigade was called to a Koreke Place property where a small fire had ignited on the side of the house.
The incident highlights the issue of where to discard embers once removed from a fireplace.
‘‘The fire was caused by a person putting ashes into a plastic bucket,’’ Mr Morris said.
‘‘Preferably people should use a metal bucket and place it in a safe place, away from any fences or buildings. At least a metre away, where there aren’t any housing or building structures.
‘‘We have had about three fires to fences this year, where people have done the right thing, put their ashes in a bucket and taken it down the back of the property but next to a fence,’’ he said.
He also said residents can dispose of their ashes in a hole dug in a garden.
‘‘But please put the garden hose on them first. Dampen down the ashes.’’
The shocked homeowner said a family member had emptied out the fireplace from the night before.
‘‘I was sitting inside and thought I could smell smoke.
‘‘I ran out and saw it [the fire] then panicked, I was like one, one, one,’’ she said.
At the time the fire engine arrived on the scene smoke had moved up into the roof.
‘‘The firefighter had one of his guys get up into the roof and he said I was very lucky.’’
The woman also praised her neighbour’s quick response by attempting to douse the flames with a garden hose.
HOT ASHES: Tokoroa Fire Brigade officials are reminding residents to ensure embers from fireplaces are discarded safely after a blaze broke out in Tokoroa.