Blaze from misplaced fire pit ashes causes $40K in damage

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A fire that started in a Germantown garage damaged a vehicle and several other buildings early Monday morning.

The fire happened around 3 a.m. on Noble Oaks Drive.

Sam Schrantz was inside his room Sunday night when he heard kids screaming in the neighborhood.

"Everybody ran outside people started knocking on doors getting everybody out… called the fire department," explained Sam. "I heard the kids outside yelling. I wouldn't have known otherwise... they were yelling get out of the house... get out of the house."

Sam's room is near the front of the house, but around back the garage had caught on fire. Montgomery County fire investigators say fireplace ashes discarded near the garage sparked the fire.

Spokesperson, Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire says this was the second fire this weekend involving hot ashes.

Ashes can retain enough heat for several days to catch combustible items on fire.

He says make sure to use a metal bucket, not a plastic bucket or paper bag and don't place it next to anything combustible. It's important to pour water over the ashes.

Approximately $40,000 in damage was caused.

No one was injured in the fire.