Firefighters say a house fire in St. Joseph County was likely caused by a popular barbecuing tool.
Dozens of trucks were called to the blaze just before six Thursday night in the 51000 block of Meadow Knoll Court. That's near the intersection of Portage and Brick.
The homeowner called 9-1-1 after seeing smoke and flames around the back of the house. The residents escaped unharmed, and their two dogs were rescued by firefighters.
Clay Fire Marshal Dave Cherrone says the fire was started by a box used to preheat charcoal, which the homeowner set on top of a plastic tub.
“She set that down on top of that plastic case and then of course the next thing she noticed there was a fire back there and of course we had some wind gusting, which spread those ashes on that container and then up the vinyl siding,” explains Dave Cherrone Fire Marshal of the Clay Fire Territory.
Cherrone says even if the box appears cool to the touch, it could still be warm inside. He says that is why you should never place it in an area where it could come into contact with flammable items.