Fire in garage started from hot ashes put in garbage

Published 1:12 pm Saturday, September 19, 2015

A fire that destroyed a garage in eastern Albert Lea last week started from remnants in an ashtray that were improperly thrown away, according to the Albert Lea Fire Department.

Albert Lea Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Laskowske said people living at the house, at 206 Fenton Ave., had reportedly dumped out some ashtrays into a garbage can in the garage. The ashes reportedly lit the contents in the garbage can on fire, which ultimately started the entire garage on fire.

The garage, which was 28 feet by 25 feet, was unattached from the house. It was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene.

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Two cars in the backyard received minor damage, along with siding on the back side of the Fenton Avenue home and a neighboring garage at 1915 Bimelich Lane.

Losses on the property were estimated at $20,000, with contents estimated at $15,000, Laskowske said.

People should make sure smoking materials such as cigarette butts are cool before they are thrown away, he said.

“Make sure they are completely put out,” he said.

No one was injured.