EL SOBRANTE -- A family of four was displaced Friday night after discarded fireplace ashes caused a house fire that burned the home's garage, according to fire investigators.

No one was injured.

Fire crews from Contra Costa County and Richmond responded to the 3900 block of La Cresenta Road around 8:08 p.m. and found heavy smoke and flames coming from the single-family home's garage, said Battalion Chief Brian Lowry.

Firefighters were able to stop the blaze, which began in the two-car garage after discarded fireplace ashes reignited, from spreading to the rest of the home. The family's two cats were also found unharmed in one of the house's back rooms, Lowry added.

In addition to smoke damage to the living area nearest the garage, the fire also destroyed a late model vehicle in the driveway and caused an estimated $65,000 damage.

Follow Katie Nelson at Twiter.com/katienelson210.


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how to discard fireplace ashes
There is a safe and easy way to discard fireplace ashes that ensures your home and your family are safe long after you have stopped uing your fireplace for the night.
To do so, place any ashes you want to discard in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water before you dispose of them.
Source: Contra Costa County Fire Protection District