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Two weekend fires in Cedar Rapids related to improper disposal of ash

Damage from a fire outside of a home in the 4200 block of Benton Street NE on Sunday, April 18,...
Damage from a fire outside of a home in the 4200 block of Benton Street NE on Sunday, April 18, 2021.(Courtesy: Cedar Rapids Fire Department)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Fires at two homes in Cedar Rapids on Sunday caused minor damage, but are encouraging officials to remind residents of proper procedures to dispose of hot ashes or coals.

One fire was reported at around 1:26 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, in the 900 block of Maplewood Drive NE, according to the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. Firefighters found that a fire was taking place near the garbage, yard waste, and recycling receptacles which was put out before it engulfed the home. The second fire was reported at around 5:50 p.m. in the 4200 block of Benton Street NE. Similarly, a fire was taking place on the exterior of the home, which responding police officers were able to put out using a garden hose.

In both cases, fire department officials said that the residents at the homes had lit recreational fires the night before, then placed the ashes inside of their YARDY container.

Fire experts recommend that no ashes should be placed into plastic containers, like those provided for yard waste. Instead, ashes should be allowed to cool on their own, then put into a metal container and watered down. Then, they can be sealed with a metal lid and placed outside of the home away from other combustibles.

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