Easthampton fire destroys shed, prompts warning about disposal of ashes
EASTHAMPTON — A shed fire at 81 Pomeroy St. that caused approximately $28,000 in damage has prompted Fire Chief David Mottor to warn people with wood stoves or fireplaces to be cautious when disposing of ashes.
Mottor said the Friday night fire spread to the shed from a mulch pile where ashes from a woodstove had been dumped.
The Fire Department responded to 81 Pomeroy St. at 11:51 p.m. and found a shed belonging to Robert St. George fully engulfed in flames. It took firefighters an hour and a half to extinguish the fire and ensure that the large pile of grass and leaves adjacent to the shed was not smoldering.
The shed, which contained a motorcycle, a snowblower and other equipment, was destroyed. Mottor said the siding on the house was also melted due to the heat from the blaze.
No one was injured in the fire.
Mottor said the investigation by Fire Capt. Kevin Benson found that ashes placed into the mulch pile had started the fire, even though St. George had let the metal bucket of ashes to cool for a day before dumping them.
Mottor said the proper way to dispose of ashes is to use a metal bucket, because hot ashes can melt through a plastic bucket, and to add water to the ashes.
“The bottom of a bucket of ashes can smolder for two or three days,” he said.
Fires caused by ashes are not unusual this time of year, when homeowners start to use their fireplaces and woodstoves again, Mottor said.
On Nov. 5, Easthampton and Northampton firefighters extinguished a large brush fire, reportedly caused by improper disposal of fireplace ashes, preventing it from damaging three nearby homes on Florence Road.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.