LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington firefighters say they know what caused a fire that heavily damaged two homes.
Firefighters tell us hot embers left in a fireplace sparked the fire Thursday morning on Deer Lake Circle in Lexington.
The fire started in one home and spread to another.
Accidentally leaving hot embers in the fireplace overnight is a mistake many of us could make, but this seemingly simple mistake is one that cost a Lexington family their home Thursday morning.
“Our neighbor was banging on our door and screaming for us to get out,” said Victoria White who was living in the home when it caught fire.
Victoria White says she then acted on instinct by scooping up her son and running out of the house.
Officials later learned that the fire started at the neighbor’s house and was caused by the improper disposal of ashes from a fireplace.
“The fire on their house jumped into our attic and begin eating through our upstairs.”
It didn't take long for the flames to engulf most of their belongings, including the Christmas gifts they unwrapped the day before.
“We have his diaper bag and him and blanket and car seat but all of his stuff is inside.”
This tragedy is one that firefighters say could have been avoided if precautions had been taken.
“We recommend that you place the ashes in a metal container with a lid that you can store within 15 feet of your home and you want to make sure you wet them down after you dispose of them,” said Major Joe Madden with the Lexington Fire Department.
So next time you decide to light your fireplace on a cold winter night, take a few extra minutes to properly put the fire out to prevent you or your family from experiencing a similar tragedy.
Firefighters also recommend that you remove any combustible materials you may have by the fireplace such as magazines or children's toys.