Charcoal starter blamed for garage fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Charcoal starter blamed for garage fire

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A Cedar Rapids garage fire is being blamed on a charcoal starter.

Greg Buelow, Public Information Officer for the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, says the fire broke out around 7:17 p.m. Sunday in the garage at 1708 23rd Street NW.  Buelow says hot ashes in the grating of a charcoal chimney starter likely caused the fire.

Cyril Hilario was eating supper with three other adults and two children in the house when he noticed smoke in the house.  He opened the door to the garage and found thick smoke in the garage and some flames underneath a lawn mower.

The fire was almost completely out when fire crews arrived.  Buelow says a fire extinguisher was hanging on the wall near the fire and exploded, causing dry chemical agent to spread over the fire and onto the nearby vehicles.  He says it's possible that helped put the fire out.

Investigators say the charcoal starter, which is made of metal, was placed back on the garage wall after it was used.  They say the fire occurred about an hour after that.

Damage was contained to a portion of the garage wall, a wooden saw horse that was hanging on the wall, and a lawn mower that was directly beneath the charcoal starter. 

There were no injuries.

The fire department reminds that coals should be completely cooled and disposed of in a metal container with a lid. Ensure that there are no combustible materials in the container that could ignite. If you use a charcoal starter, it should be free of any debris from the charcoal briquettes and left to cool away from any combustibles.

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