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Stove ashes cause of Blueberry Lane fire

  • A fire on Blueberry Lane in Peterborough on early Saturday morning damaged the porch and garage. —Courtesy photo

  • A fire on Blueberry Lane in Peterborough on early Saturday morning damaged the porch and garage. Courtesy photo

  • A fire on Blueberry Lane in Peterborough on early Saturday morning damaged the porch and garage. —Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 08, 2018

A Peterborough couple was displaced by a fire early Saturday morning that was caused by dumped ashes.

At around 6:26 a.m., the Peterborough Fire and Rescue Department dispatched to 7 Blueberry Lane for a reported structure fire, and arrived to find the rear deck and garage in flames. Crews sent out a second alarm.

The fire was caused by the disposal of ashes from a woodstove, which the homeowner had been dumping onto the snow next to the rear deck. The ashes rested too close to latticework surrounding the deck, igniting and sending the fire across the deck and igniting the back of the house.

“It has been so cold that a lot of people have been doing things they don’t usually do with their stove appliances,” said Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker. “He’d been emptying his stove more often than usual, and emptying it while the embers were still hot.”

One of the homeowners was awake when the fire started, said Walker. The house’s kitchen had been recently renovated, including the installation of new smoke detectors that went off when smoke began to invade the home. When the alarm went off, the homeowner noticed the flames on the deck.

The two residents inside and their dog were able to exit the home safely, assisted by Peterborough police officers who arrived early to the scene. 

The early-morning cold presented firefighters with some challenges, said Walker, but crews from Peterborough and Jaffrey Fire Departments were able to contain the fire to the attached garage, attic and deck, with some smoke damage, though damage is still estimated to be as high as $40,000, according to Walker.

Crews were able to bring the fire under control about an hour after the fire started, at 7:20 a.m., and spent the next hour and a half ensuring that the fire had not spread throughout the walls of the home.

The family has been temporarily displaced, said Walker, as the fire disrupted the home’s electricity. 

Peterborough crews were assisted on scene by the Peterborough Police and fire crews from Jaffrey, Greenfield, Hancock, Rindge, Dublin, Antrim and Milford. Additional crews from Keene, Temple and Milford covered the Peterborough station. Fire crews were also assisted on the scene by the Peterborough Department of Public Works and Eversource.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.