Jan 17, 2013 6:09 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - A overnight house fire on Birch Street caused substantial damage to the structure and the contents, but fortunately there are no reports of injuries.
The fire was reported at about 2 a.m., and apparently began on the exterior of the home and spread into wall cavities and joist spaces.
The preliminary investigation determined that improper disposal of ash from a solid fuel burning appliance triggered the fire, according to the Helena Fire Department.
In a press release, fire officials said, "The Helena Fire Department would like to remind everyone that ashes can hold heat for a long time. Proper disposal includes placing ashes into a noncombustible container with a sealable lid for an extended period of time or using water to fully extinguish prior to final disposal."
Authorities have not yet determined the dollar value of the damage.
The Helena Fire Department received assistance from crews from East Helena, Baxendale East Valley, Eastgate and West Valley, and Lewis & Clark County Fire Departments.
The American Red Cross is assisting the family.
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