VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Discarded ashes from a fire pit were the cause of a fire that burned the side of a Virginia Beach house on Monday, officials say.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department said in a news release crews were called to the 800 block of St. Martin Drive just after noon.
Responding firefighters reported finding heavy smoke and fire coming from the back right side of the house. The blaze extended as high as the roof, officials said.
However, the damage was limited to the siding and a portion of the right side-wall.
Officials said the homeowner told firefighters he had thrown the ashes from a fire pit used the night before in a trash can on the side of the house. A natural gas meter next to the trash can was damaged, but no gas was ignited or leaked.
No one was injured in the fire, officials said.
The fire department said in a statement Monday that ashes from a fire pit, fireplace or grill should be completely out before being tossed.
“I would let them sit in the fire pit for about 24 hours to make sure they actually are out,” said Jeremy Beaumont with the Virginia Beach Fire Department. “And if you need to, add more water to them.”
In addition, the fire department urges ashes to be disposed of in a non-combustible can.