Archive for Friday, November 24, 2017

Discarded fireplace ashes caused destructive Thanksgiving Day house fire in south Lawrence, fire chief says

Lawrence firefighters responded Thursday morning to the scene of a house fire at 2901 Atchison Circle.

Lawrence firefighters responded Thursday morning to the scene of a house fire at 2901 Atchison Circle.

November 24, 2017


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.”

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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Richard Heckler 6 months, 4 weeks ago

A question for the chief.

How in the world can that type of source be documented as the source? Over the years I have been somewhat impressed as to what an investigation can produce.

Doug Weston 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Are you serious? If so, I imagine the investigation goes something like this....

Fire Investigator: So, was there anything flammable in the garage? Any open flame? Anything that could cause a spark? Home Owner: Well, I cleaned out the fireplace and put the ashes in a cardboard box that I then set in the garage. Fire Investigator (writing in report): Likely source of fire is discarded ashes in cardboard box.

Bob Forer 6 months, 4 weeks ago

It was likely very easy to confirm that story. The location where a fire started is typically very easy to determine.l

Richard Heckler 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I find it remarkable that fire departments are able to pin point the sources then substantiate once a lead is provided.

I am hoping the chief can provide more detail because I am curious about the process in general. Certainly am not doubting the credentials of the chief.

Cindy Bell 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Sad this happened to them. Especially on Thanksgiving.

Rick Aldrich 6 months, 4 weeks ago

First came the arm chair coaches, now comes the Arm Chair Fire Chiefs. Lol

Demetrius Kemp 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Of the things you can be dicussing this is what you choose. How about a family is homeless during the holidays, how about what we can do to help them. Instead of bashing the fire department do something worthwhile like reach out to this family and see what you can do to help. Thank you Condi Bell for having a heart

Louis Kannen 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Unless you have experiential knowledge of this kind of situation, zip it.

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