DATE: 05/04/14 CASE:14-04718
LOCATION: 200 Block of Dupont Ave
WHAT FIRE DEPARTMENTS RESPONDED: Hopatcong
WHAT WAS THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE: Embers from a fire
WHERE DID IT START: in a garbage can next to the house
ANY OTHER INFORMATION: Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a home on Dupont Ave for a report of flames coming from a house. When Officer Schultz arrived he found a fire next to the house. There was a neighbor trying to get a garden hose to the fire. Officer Schultz used his patrol car fire extinguisher then the garden hose and put the fire out. He found that the fire was in a plastic recycling garbage can. The 14 year old who lives there had a fire in a fire pit the night before. He put the fire out with water around 11:00 pm. He put the wood and paper into the plastic garbage can. This in turn caught fire 9 hours later from the embers. Hopatcong Fire Marshall Frank Steinberg spoke to the juvenile about the dangers of embers.
We get reports of fires from embers that are dumped into the woods when homeowners clean out their fireplaces and wood burning stoves. The embers stay hot long after the fire is out. When dumped they start to smolder and catch leaves and twigs on fire. Here, even though he put water on the fire, the wood still had embers inside where the water did not reach it. It remained hot enough to rekindle the fire in the plastic garbage can.