Barrow County fire fighters and Emergency Services responded to a house fire on Herald Drive in Bethlehem Sunday.
“First arriving firefighters found the home approximately fifty percent involved,” said Lieutenant Scott Dakin. “They had heavy smoke and flames from the center of the home with flames showing through the roof.”
When firefighters arrived they began an interior attack on the fire to keep it from spreading, however the house had already suffered a large amount of smoke and fire damage.
The residents, a family of five, all made it out of the home unharmed, but most of their home and belongings were burned.
After the fire had subsided, the Fire Investigation Unit determined that the cause was an accident.
The resident had cleaned out the fireplace and placed the ashes into a cardboard box on the back deck. Since the ashes were still hot, they ignited the deck, which then spread to the rest of the home.
The cause of this fire has reminded fire officials that people must take precautions when heating their homes as the weather gets colder.
“One of the more common methods these days is the use of fireplaces and wood stoves, “ said Dakin. “They can help heat your home during the cold of winter, but they must be kept and used safely.”