Big Bear Lake, CA — A residential fire yesterday afternoon has prompted the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District to remind homeowners to practice fire-safe procedures, as it was fireplace ashes that likely caused the blaze. Per the press release issue today: “At approximately 3pm on February 10, the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District responded to a report of a residential structure fire in the 1400 block of Clubview Drive in the City of Big Bear Lake.
The occupants encountered billowing smoke and the glowing evidence of fire upon arriving home and opening the door to the residence. They dialed 911. While fire damage was isolated to the area around the fireplace, the interior of the home suffered mild to moderate smoke damage, with an approximate $10,000 in total damages. The structure and contents have an estimated value of $285,000.
The cause of the fire appears to be from fireplace ashes that were not completely extinguished, with hot embers rolling out of the fireplace and igniting adjacent combustibles.
There were no injuries as a result of this fire. Big Bear Lake fire personnel were assisted by the City of Big Bear Lake Code Compliance Division; Big Bear City Fire Department units were on stand-by.”

Given this incident, and other similarly caused fires in the Big Bear Valley, the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District reminds Valley residents and visitors to observe the following home heating safety tips to help stay safe and warm this winter:
— Have a qualified professional inspect and clean heating equipment and chimneys each year.
— Use a sturdy fireplace screen to keep sparks and hot ashes from leaving the fire box.
— Allow ashes to cool before disposing.  Ashes awaiting disposal should be kept in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid a minimum of 10 feet away from the home and other combustible materials. Never use a combustible container such as a bag or box to store ashes.
— Keep rugs and other combustible materials off of and at least three feet away from floor furnaces.
— Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment.
— Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or retiring for the evening.
— Plug portable heater power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord or multi-plug adapter.
— Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test smoke alarms at least once a month. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.
— Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
— Never use an oven to heat the home.

For more information regarding heating safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website or contact your local fire department:
Big Bear City Fire Department at 909/585-2362
Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District at 909/866-7566
San Bernardino County Fire Department
in Fawnskin at 909/866-4878
in Baldwin Lake at 909/584-9911