Ballyhack Road Fire: Cause Determined

By Alice Maggiore

Ballyhack Road Fire: Cause Determined

December 23, 2011 Updated Dec 23, 2011 at 12:32 PM EDT

Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Crews spent hours extinguishing a fire which destroyed a home near Port Crane, and they say fireplace ashes disposed in a cardboard box are to blame.

According to fire investigators, tenants in the Ballyhack Road home left the box full of ashes on the porch, which caused the fire.

Responders were knocking out hot spots as late as 5 p.m. Thursday.

Investigators say the tenants put ashes into a cardboard box and left it on the porch. Authorities say they see at least 4 to 5 fires start for similar reasons each heating season in Broome County.

Fire investigators remind everyone that a metal container with a lid is the proper recptacle for ashes. When the ashes cool, you may spread them on your property, but not inside your home or in the garbage.

Investigators say they've seen fires start as many as three days after the fireplace is cleaned.

Four people lived in the home now considered a total loss.
Three were there at the time of the fire. They left their cell phones inside, so it was a neighbor driving by who called the fire in. The American Red Cross is now assisting.

7 crews from area fire departments fought flames.