INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Officials on Thursday determined improper ash disposal to be the cause of a fire severely damaged a pair of condos near Lake Tahoe's North Shore.
According to a North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District press release, crews responded to a report at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday of a structure fire at 978 Glenrock Court; they eventually extinguished the flames.
While no one was hurt, units No. 52 and 53 within the condo complex saw extensive damage, according to the district. Five occupants were displaced and are working with Red Cross for temporary housing.
After an investigation, the district determined improper ash disposal caused the blaze.
“Improper ash disposal is a common cause of structure as well as wildland fires,” officials said in the press release. “Whether fireplace or barbecue ashes, it is important to understand that embers in an insulating bed of ash can remain hot up to a week or more.”
Officials with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and Sierra Fire Protection District, as well as Washoe County Sheriff's Office, offered mutual aid.
NLTFPD offers the following safety tips to remember when discarding fireplace or barbecue ashes:
• Please do not put ashes in a paper bag or cardboard box or place ashes on your deck, in the bushes or next to the house. Also please do not discard ashes in a Dumpster where there are other combustible materials as there is the chance that the ashes are not completely extinguished and such disposal can lead to an unnecessary fire.
• Thoroughly douse the ashes with water or simply place the ashes in a non-combustible metal container used solely for ash storage and wait a couple of weeks before throwing them away.
• It is necessary to wait until the embers are completely extinguished and cold (at least 7 days) before placing them into a garbage receptacle or Dumpster.