Discarded wood pile ignites behind house

Photo courtesy Kearny Fire Department
Firefighter checks debris pile that ignited, causing damage to exterior of an Elm Street home last week.



Advice on home renovations: If that work is producing debris, make sure the discarded material is kept as far as possible away from the dwelling.

Residents of 278 Elm St. learned that lesson the hard way when old wooden flooring, removed during renovations and piled against the back of the house, ignited last Wednesday afternoon, Kearny fire officials reported.

Damage was limited to the exterior of the two-story, two-family wood-frame structure. Three adults at home at the time were safely evacuated with no injuries, said Kearny Fire Department Deputy Chief Bruce Kauffmann. The residents were allowed to reoccupy the house.

Three engines and one ladder truck responded to the scene, between King Street and Quincy Avenue, when the alarm came in at 1:06 p.m. They had the fire knocked down within 15 minutes, KFD Chief Steve Dyl reported.

According to Kauffmann, the blaze began in a fourfoot- high, six-foot-long stack of wooden construction debris removed during work on the top floor and piled outside against the rear of the house.

Kauffmann said the cause of the fire was under investigation, but it did not appear to be suspicious.

– Karen Zautyk

Learn more about the writer ...