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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Laguna Niguel : Fireplace Ashes Cause $5,000 Fire at Residence

December 30, 1987

A fire caused by smoldering fireplace ashes placed against a garage wall caused $5,000 damage to a home Tuesday but no one was injured, county Fire Department officers said.

Capt. Patrick McIntosh said the fire broke out about 1:15 p.m. at the two-story residence at 25371 Rainwood, just west of Interstate 5 off Street of the Golden Lantern. By the time firefighters arrived, McIntosh said, part of the garage was in flames, but it took just 11 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

McIntosh said the homeowner, Kenneth Mercier, told investigators that he had cleaned out his fireplace and placed a bag containing ashes outside against the garage wall just one hour before the fire broke out.

"The ashes ignited and spread to the garage," McIntosh said. "It was stopped before it got to the attic, but part of the garage was burned."

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