Members of the South Windsor Volunteer Fire Department knocked down a house fire at 986 Pleasant Valley Road in the brutally cold temperatures early this morning.
The call came in at 4 a.m., according to police dispatch and no injuries were reported to the two people who were home at the time of the fire. The residents both left the house before firefighters arrived, according to fire officials. A family dog was also able to leave the home unharmed, according to a witness at the scene.
The fire was extinguished in about a half an hour by firefighters from South Windsor, with mutual aid to cover South Windsor fire stations from Manchester 8th District, Ellington and Warehouse Point, according to department Chief Kevin Cooney.
The fire "[a]ppears to have started in an attached porch area of a 1 1/2 story cape-style home and extented into the home," Cooney wrote in a Facebook post.
In an interview, Cooney said that while the fire marshal is still investigation, preliminary findings have shown that the fire likely started as a result of the improper disposal of ashes in plastic containers next to the home.
In addition, there were two gas cans and a small propane tank that contributed to the fire, Cooney said.
The garage, the porch and the house were all involved in the fire, Cooney said, but firefighters were able to keep the fire from extending further into the home.
The temperature at 4 a.m. was 10 degrees, with a -6 wind-chill factor, Cooney said, hampering the efforts of the firefighters.
"They did an exceptional job," Cooney said. "I couldn't be happier with the outcome of the operations of the fire department. They all did a phenomenal job."
The house is likely uninhabitable, Cooney said, though the family was able to go back inside and collect valuables and other items.
Pleasant Valley Road, which was initially closed so firefighters could extinguish the blaze, is now open, according to police dispatch.
This was the second fire that took place in South Windsor in a little over a week that was likely caused by the improper disposal of ashes.
On Jan. 17, two South Windsor public works employees doused a Birch Hill Drive house fire that started in a plastic container that contained ashes from a fireplace.
Cooney reiterated that people should be mindful of properly disposing of ashes from fireplaces.
Ashes should be stored in metal, not plastic, containers and away from the home. In addition, Cooney said that ashes should be doused with water to completely ensure that they are extinguished. Ashes can maintain heat for a longer period of time than one would think, Cooney said.