Hopatcong Police are warning residents of the dangers of dumping embers after a garbage can caught fire near a Dupont Avenue home on Sunday.
According to Lt. Thomas Kmetz, the fire was put out quickly by a responding officer at about 8 a.m. Sunday. A 14-year-old boy who lives at the home said he used a fire pit the night before and put the fire out with water at about 11 p.m. Saturday, Kmetz said.
The boy put the wood and paper into the plastic garbage can that ended up igniting about nine hours later, according to Kmetz.
"We get reports of fires from embers that are dumped into the woods when homeowners clean out their fireplaces and wood burning stoves," Kmetz said. "The embers stay hot long after the fire is out. When dumped, they start to smolder and catch leaves and twigs on fire. Here, even though he put water on the fire, the wood still had embers inside where the water did not reach it. It remained hot enough to rekindle the fire in the plastic garbage can."