Coals Ignite Wisconsin Fire

MADISON, Wis. --

Careless grilling caused a fire that destroyed a garage on Saturday night.

Authorities said the fire started when hot coals from a grill were put into a bag that was placed inside the garage.

This wasn't the first time a grill or hot coals caused a damaging fire this summer.

On Aug. 8, more than five fire departments responded to two separate fires, both of which started from grills.

In Verona, a homeowner had stepped away from a gas grill when the fire broke out.

That same night in Springfield, near Middleton, a fire started from a grill that was sitting on a wooden deck.

On July 4, the Fitchburg Spring Apartments were badly damaged after a teen put a small grill away before the coals were cooled off.

More than 40 residents were displaced in the Fitchburg fire, but no one was hurt.

Fitchburg firefighters are urging extra precautions when grilling and storing.

"Not to take and put it back in your garage if it's still warm, just leave it outside overnight," said Lt. Robert Rittenhouse. "If they're going to take and empty it out, use a metal bucket with a lid."

Any type of grilling, charcoal or propane, must be done at least 10 feet from an apartment complex building.

Fire experts said when storing grills in an apartment complex, small grills can be stored on a balcony, but larger full-size grills must be kept at least 10 feet from the building.

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