The Scappoose Fire District has determined discarded embers were the cause of the structure fire on SW Maple Street in Scappoose on May 30.
Reportedly, the embers continued burning once they were placed in a non-combustible container outside the garage of the residence, which deemed the fire accidental.
Firefighters responded to the fire at approximately 2:04 p.m. on the afternoon of the 30th, based on the report of a structure fire at a two-story home where the detached garage had caught fire. Upon arrival, the fire which started on the side of the garage was beginning to quickly spread to the rest of the home.
“Firefighters made an incredible stop, so it didn’t cause any further damage to the home,” Public Information Officer Jennifer Motherway said via press release.
The homeowners were not at the residence when the incident began. According to officials, the fire sparked approximately an hour after they’d left home. The fire caused no injuries and, fortunately, no members of the home have been displaced due to damage.
Firefighters remained on scene for an hour and a half to overhaul the scene. Assisting agencies included Columbia River PUD, Scappoose Police, and a Scappoose building official from the City of Scappoose.
“As a friendly reminder, every year fire departments respond to house fires caused by improperly discarded ashes,” Motherway said in the press release. “Please be sure to discard embers in a fire safe container. Plastic yard debris containers are not ideal.”
The Scappoose Fire District suggests storing ashes and embers in metal containers, and to keep them outside at least 20 feet from your home or nearby buildings.
“Many people don’t realize the length of time required for ashes to cool enough for disposal,” Motherway said.
The Scappoose Fire District responded with two Chief Officers, 11 firefighters - both career and volunteer, three fire engines and one support personnel. Columbia River Fire & Rescue was also on scene to assist.