WEST STOCKHOLM Unsafe disposal of hot ash from a wood stove started a fire that destroyed Jonathan M. Charlesons home at 40 Scott Road on Monday afternoon, St. Lawrence County Fire Investigator Brian Sullivan said.
Mr. Charleson, who lived alone, was at a neighbors house when the fire started. No injuries were reported.
Brasher-Winthrop and West Stockholm volunteer fire departments and the Tri-Town Volunteer Rescue Squad responded at about 2 p.m. when a neighbor called.
By the time firefighters arrived, the home was a total loss, Brasher-Winthrop Assistant Chief Newell Johnson said.
The house was caving in when we got to the scene, Mr. Johnson said. It was uninsured.
The American Red Cross was helping Mr. Charleson find a temporary place to stay.
Ashes were believed to have been placed in a metal can, and hot coals burned through the floor, Mr. Johnson said. You have to find the proper place to dispose of them away from the house, he said.You definitely dont want to leave hot ashes; you have to wet them down or bury them in the snow.