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CAROLINA SHORES, NC (WECT) - Fire officials are asking residents to be aware of the dangers from hot ashes.
Two separate fires happened within 24 hours of each other in Carolina Shores. Officials said they were both caused by improper disposal of hot ashes.
The first fire was reported around 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2012.
The Calabash Fire Department arrived to find flames shooting from the garage area of a home at 9 Carolina Shores Parkway. The fire was brought under control in about 45 minutes, but the garage and adjoining areas were heavily damaged by the blaze.
Fire fighters said there was smoke and water damage to most of the residence. A vehicle parked in the garage was also destroyed and one in the driveway was badly damaged.
People inside the home managed to get out and no one was injured, according to officials.
The fire is believed to have ignited from fireplace ashes placed in the garage in a plastic garbage pail. The homeowner thought they were no longer hot.
The Calabash Fire Department responded to another fire with the help of Sunset Beach, Grissettown, Ocean Isle and Horry County fire departments.
Calabash fire fighters were called out again around 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, 2012, to a woods fire that spread to a residence at 1109 Captain's Court.
There was minimal damage to the back of the garage.
The homeowner at 1111 Captains Court told firefighters he had emptied what he thought were the safely cooled ashes from his fire pit into the woods behind his house.
Those ashes are reportedly what started the blaze.
Fire officials want to remind residents that coals and ashes from fires can remain hot enough to start a fire for many hours or even days after the fire appears to be out.
To be completely safe, they advise residents to treat all ashes and coals as hot even when you think they have had enough time to cool.
To properly dispose of ashes or coals, the fire department recommends allowing ashes and coals to cool in the area where you had the fire for several days. Fireplaces and grills are designed to contain heat safely.
They also said when disposing of ashes, be sure to transfer them to a metal container and wet them down thoroughly. Do not use galvanized containers because hot coals on galvanized metal will release noxious fumes.
Do not use a combustible container or one that might melt from the heat of the ashes or coals and do not place anything else combustible in the container.
Finally, be sure to keep the container outside your home and away from any combustibles until it can be safely hauled away.
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