Saturday morning, Jan. 7, Clallam County Fire District 3 responded to a structure fire at 93 W. Stephens Place off South Third Avenue. Neighbors reported smoke coming from the roof at 9:41 a.m. Fire crews found the home full of smoke and flames, which they controlled within 30 minutes.
No one was home at the time and the occupant’s cat was found with some singed hair but otherwise unharmed.
Patrick Young, public information officer for the fire department, reports improperly disposed wood stove ashes caused the fire.
That weekend, Fire District 3 responded to two fires involving improperly discarded ashes. In both cases, ashes were placed in combustible containers, not soaked with water and placed in the home area.
The Stephens Place home sustained heavy smoke and heat damage and cannot be occupied at this time.
Olympic Ambulance, Clallam County PUD and the American Red Cross provided assistance.
Young advises fireplaces and wood stoves be checked annually by an experienced chimney sweep to prevent fires in the chimney or flue. Ashes should be completely removed from the home and placed outside away from decks or other flammable objects. Each home should have a fire extinguisher and working smoke alarms and its residents should have an escape plan.
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