Ashes in plastic garbage can ignite Boise garage

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Ashes thrown into a plastic trash can ignited a Boise home's garage Tuesday morning.

Two people were inside their home on 1404 Rimrock Court in the North End sleeping when their detached garage caught fire around 7:30. A neighbor saw the fire and ran over to wake them.

The homeowner, Frederick Bauer said he knew the cause of the fire even before the investigator got there. He said he put fireplace ashes in a metal bucket for about a day then moved them to the garbage can because he thought they were cooled.

"Because the bucket was cool, I assumed there were no embers left in the bucket," said Bauer. "I was wrong, so the fire began in the garage where I put the wood ashes."

A fire investigator said the ashes may feel cool on top, but the ashes are actually good at insulating and there could still be hot embers on the bottom of the bucket.

Bauer said this is a lesson learned.

"I've been retired for a week and a half and was doing things my wife often did, so the lesson here is watch out when you retire; things go and happen to you," said Bauer.

Bauer and his wife said they are also thankful for their quick thinking neighbor.

"I saw the fire going up the garage over there, so I ran back, had my husband call the fire department and then I ran up and rang the doorbell and knocked to get those guys up," said Mary Schofield.