Hot fireplace ashes put into a trash can likely caused a South Jordan house fire on Wednesday, according to officials.
South Jordan Fire Battalion Chief Wayne Edginton said the 9:51 a.m. fire at 9466 S. 9435 West had spread into the attic when crews arrived and heavy smoke was billowing from the rear of the structure.
The man and woman living in the home had apparently cleaned out their fire place earlier Wednesday and put the ashes in a bag and then into a trash can behind the garage.
While an official cause remained undetermined Wednesday, but Edginton said it seemed likely the ashes, still hot, first caught the garage and then the house on fire.
"Most of the structural damage was to the back of the garage, though we did have to pull down some of the ceiling in the kitchen and there was smoke damage throughout the house." he added.
Damage was estimated at more than $15,000, and the couple will probably not be able to return to the home until repairs are made. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters found the couple in a neighbor’s house across the street, from where they had called 911, apparently after a smoke alarm alerted them to the blaze.
Firefighters had extinguished the flames by 10:15 a.m.
"This time of year, especially, we get these kinds of fires, when people clean out a fire place or stoves and don’t make sure the ashes are under control," Edginton said.
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