Fireplace ashes caused fire in Vail
VAIL — Fire officials say the improper disposal of fireplace ashes appears to be the cause of a structure fire which was reported at 11:14 p.m. Monday at 162 W. Meadow Drive in Vail. Upon arrival, crews discovered flames coming from a trash enclosure on the west side of the residence. Interim Fire Chief Steve Pischke says the fire extended from the enclosure into the adjoining residence which required firefighters to remove portions of the ceiling and interior wall in order to reach the fire. The residence was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries to fire personnel during the response.
The fire was declared under control within 30 minutes and out an hour later. Crews remained on scene until 3 a.m. to complete salvage and overhaul and to begin an investigation into the cause of the fire. The residence received heavy smoke damage estimated at $150,000.
Investigators concluded that sometime after guests of the house had checked out, the fireplace had been cleaned. Rather than use an available fireproof container, the ashes had been placed directly into the trash cans in the enclosure.