House Fires caused by Fire Pits May 21, 2013

The dangers of backyard fire pits - news and op/ed

House Fires caused by Fire Pits May 21, 2013

Postby Wilberforce » Sat May 25, 2013 10:11 pm

House Fires caused by Fire Pits from the past week

In one case, a three-year old was severely burned when her uncle threw gasoline into the fire

Residential Blaze Spread from Fire Pit
Upper Southampton fire crews worked late Monday night extinguishing a fire that spread from a fire pit.

By Theresa Katalinas
May 21, 2013

Flames from a fire pit in the backyard of Surrey Road "spread only slightly" late Monday night and took about 15 minutes to extinguish, a fire official told Patch.

Southampton Fire Co. No. 1 Chief Tom Brown said the fire, which began after 11 p.m. Monday in the Burgundy Hills development, originally started in an outside fire pit and spread from its original location.

The fire could have been prevented altogether.

"The take away for residents is that Upper Southampton Township has an ordinance that prohibits open burning regardless of the container," Brown said.

According to the township's ordinance pertaining to the restrictions on open burning, "all fires shall be tended by a competent adult person until such fire is extinguished, who shall have adequate fire extinguishing materials and equipment readily available for use as may be reasonably necessary."

Anyone convicted of violating the ordinance could be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, and/or imprisoned for up to 90 days, according to the local law.

source ... m-fire-pit


Fire destroys, damages 2 homes hours after ban lifted
Owner returned Saturday morning to search for his missing cat, Ozzy
CBC News
Posted: May 18, 2013 12:54 PM MT
Last Updated: May 18, 2013 2:45 PM MT
Fire crews responded just after midnight Saturday morning to a fire in southwest Calgary that destroyed one home and damaged another. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Investigators are looking for the cause of a fire that destroyed one home and damaged another overnight in southwest Calgary.

Fire crews were called just after midnight on Saturday morning to a fire at Roxboro Road S.W. and Third Street S.W. They haven't identified a cause yet but say the fire department had been to one of the homes earlier Friday evening.

"We were there at 10 p.m. for an investigation of a smoke complaint out of a fire pit," said battalion chief Larry Fisher. "A neighbour phoned in complaining about a lot of smoke, so the fellow had a fire pit on the deck in the back."

When crews arrived Saturday morning, they found two homes on fire.

While no one was seriously injured, fire crews say there could have been dangerous complications.

A natural gas line ruptured as a result of the heat, which could have led to an explosion.

It had to be shut down by Atco personnel.

As well, a live electrical wire fell into the backyard of the home and crews had to wait for Enmax to disconnect the power feed.

The owner of the home where the fire apparently started is an 89-year-old man who returned Saturday shortly before noon to search for his cat, Ozzy.

source ... -fire.html


Dog's bark saves couple from fire
UPDATED 6:45 AM CDT May 17, 2013

The dog, named Toby, started barking around 5 a.m. Thursday. He wouldn’t stop, so Jeremy Aldrich got out of bed to see what was wrong.

Aldrich saw the orange glow of a fire just before flames exploded into the back of his house.

“The flame just reached around and hit the Plexiglas,” Aldrich said. “It just shattered. I don’t know what happened, but the flame went at me and then straight up into the ceiling. Just ridiculous.”

Investigators said the fire started because a ceramic fire pit had been used on a wooden deck the night before. They said the radiant heat from the bottom of the fire pit ignited the wood.

Aldrich said he had used the fire pit on the deck many times before and even poured water into the fire pit before he went to bed.

The Carlisle fire chief said the couple was especially lucky Toby woke them up because there was were no smoke alarms in the house.

The house suffered extensive smoke and water damage.

source ... index.html


3-year-old allegedly burned by uncle
7:05 PM, May 14, 2013

LAKEWOOD - Three-year-old Abbygail Vokes loves to play with her big brother. But on this day, Abby is at Children's Hospital Colorado Burn Unit. Her face and the left side of her body were burned in a fire her uncle caused, according to Lakewood police.

Investigators say last Saturday, Abby's 23-year-old uncle, Benjamin Davis, was trying to make the fire in the fire pit bigger, so he splashed it with gasoline.

"They were lighting the fire to roast marshmallows. My son has told me that he said that Benjamin [Davis] wanted it brighter so he could see," Abby's father Ryan Vokes said.

Vokes said he wasn't with his children at the time of the incident. He has full custody of them. This was the first weekend his soon-to-be ex-wife had the two children, Vokes said.

"As the uncle poured the gasoline on this fire, it's my understanding that the fire found its way up the stream of gas to the can he was holding," said Lakewood Police spokesman Steve Davis. "It also burned his hand. That caused him to spin in an attempt to throw the gasoline can away. In spinning or pulling it up quickly, the gas flew out of the can and onto the three-year-old girl. She caught fire."

Abby has second and third degree burns.

"It shouldn't have happened," Vokes said. "It's one day at a time right now."

Lakewood Police are recommending child abuse charges against Davis. It's up to the Jefferson County District Attorney to make the final call.

When reached on his phone, Davis didn't want to comment on the story. Police say Davis didn't intend to hurt anyone, but he was negligent.

"Just because you didn't mean for it to happen, had no intention of it happening, there is still a very serious set of circumstances and injury," Davis said.
Abby's dad is struggling to see his little girl with burns on her body. It will take months before she's better.

9NEWS also reached out to Abby's mom, but haven't heard back. Her grandmother who hosted the gathering didn't have a comment either.

If you want to help Abby, she has an account set up in her name.
Denver Fire Department Federal Credit Union for Abbygail Vokes.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

source ... -by-uncle-


Ryan McCracken photo
St. Paul Fire Chief Trevor Kotowich speaks with a Lafond resident after an unattended fire pit
led to a near-catastrophic blaze.

Fire ban in effect for County of St. Paul
May 14, 2013 02:30 pm | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

As of Monday afternoon, the St. Paul Fire Department and the County of St. Paul issued a fire ban following a residential blaze that severely damaged a yard and caused serious concern in the Lafond area on Sunday evening.

According to an RCMP press release, it is believed that the blaze was the result of a fire pit left unattended. The fire completely destroyed a small storage shed and a travel trailer located on the property, but nobody was hurt in the incident.

The release also states that a witness on scene “advised that a small grass fire spread quickly to some nearby trees and then onto the trailer.” While local residents attempted to extinguish the flames, their efforts were unsuccessful due to the high wind speed at the time.

St. Paul Fire Chief Trevor Kotowich pointed out that with the current dry conditions, even a controlled fire can lead to very dangerous consequences.

“The conditions are certainly not favorable right now for fires. The fire weather index is extremely high right now. With all the warm, dry air we’ve been having along with the high winds, conditions are ideal for wildfires.”

Kotowich pointed to the Sunday incident as a great example of how quickly and how easily things can go wrong in the current dry climate.

“Last night’s (Sunday) fire was a great example, it was certainly an accidental incident, but it shows that you can never be too sure, and it’s always a great idea to make sure your fire is completely out before you leave it unattended,” said Kotowich.

“We’re all but certain that there was a previous fire that was within their little confines. They had a nice, secured fire pit, but unfortunately with the winds that were gusting through town at around 6 to 6:30 p.m., it must have picked up a hot ember or something, and with the conditions being so dry the way they are, it doesn’t take much for just a blade of grass to catch on fire and spread to what we saw.”

County of St. Paul Fire Guardian Director Dennis Bergheim said that the current fire ban will remain in effect until further notice.

“It’ll probably stay on as long as it needs to until the weather conditions change as far as getting moisture. The other issue is that it’s a critical time of year now, they call it a green up period we’re waiting for. Until everything greens up, that could change too. With a combination of moisture and greening up of vegetation, we could lift the ban at that time.”

Bergheim reminded residents to “be careful” as the dry climate persists in the county.

“There are absolutely no outdoor fires permitted, including open fires, campfires, brush piles and burning barrels. Also the discharge of fireworks is prohibited during this ban,” he said. “The only things that will be allowed are things like gas-fueled barbecues, those electric fire pits that they have, and fuel-powered camping stoves.”

source ... 9998/0/stp


Afternoon Fire Causes Damage To Two Cars and Mobile Home [SLIDE SHOW]

By: Gina Pitisci
Posted: Tue 4:25 PM, May 14, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A fire on Ibarra Lane in Tallahassee destroyed two cars, and damaged a mobile home. No one was injured.

The fire was accidental, and no one was home at the of the fire.

The Tallahassee Fire Department responded to the scene and reports that the fire started from embers in a fire pit that hadn't been put out from a few days ago. The fire spread to two cars, one of which was inoperable. The mobile home was unoccupied and used for storage. The contents inside the home were not damaged. It took firefighters about 10 minutes to put the fire out. Damages are estimated at around 3,600 dollars.

source ... 28821.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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