Improperly discarded fireplace ashes sparked the blaze that effectively totaled a south Lawrence house on Thanksgiving Day, Fire Chief Mark Bradford said Friday.
Bradford said ashes had been removed from the fireplace and put into a cardboard box in the garage, where the fire started.
“Ashes will stay hot for days, and people just don’t realize that,” Bradford said.
About 9:30 a.m. Thursday, firefighters arrived at the two-story house at 2901 Atchison Circle, where the garage was engulfed in flames. Firefighters brought the blaze under control by 10 a.m.
The two residents of the house were home when the fire started, but they weren’t injured, Bradford said.
He said the local Red Cross was helping the displaced residents.
Bradford said a dollar amount for damages was not immediately available but that the house was probably a total loss.
“There’s significant damage,” he said. “A good portion of that house will have to be removed and rebuilt.”