Wood-burning Stove Ashes Cause Accidental House Fire

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GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn. — With dry, windy weather fire danger is incredibly high. One Gibson County home was damaged by a fire that started outside the home, Thursday. The fire started after investigators said the homeowner threw the ashes from her wood-burning stove into the yard. Then, it only took about 20 minutes for the house to go up in flames. The home in Dyer is a total loss, along with everything inside. “It’s just rough. We lost everything. I never would have never thought it’d come to this,” Shelly Dycus, the homeowner, said. Shelly and her husband, Gerald were both home with their 9-month-old grandchild when they were using a wood-burning heater. Shelly said she threw the ashes from her wood burning stove out in the yard like she normally does but for some reason this time the embers did not go out. Just 20 minutes later, she opened up her front door and flames rushed in. “I heard a roaring, opened up the door and the whole side of the house was on fire, caught the siding on fire,” Shelly Dycus said. Fire officials said especially when it is dry outside, make sure you keep ashes contained. “Make sure when you dispose of your ashes you dispose of them away from your house in a metal container, water them down. Make sure they are put out properly,” said Gibson County Assistant Fire Chief, Ryan Shanklin. The family of eight said they are seeing hard times. They quit paying insurance on the house to make ends meet. Gerald’s job is dependent on the weather and it is too cold to make money right now. Shelly’s son said the home is all he has ever known. “Seeing something like this is horrible. It tears my heart away. I have a lot of childhood memories. Fun times, bad times. A lot of memories, I hate this happened,” Codey Kosark said. “Don’t put your ashes out by the house. Haul them off somewhere, you know? Now we ain’t got a home,” Gerald Dycus said. The Dycus family is now living apart and they hope to all be living together again soon.

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