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For a city boy, he had a wealth of knowledge. He knew for instance, that it was not safe for me to bury or dump my fireplace ashes in the yard. He bought a neat squat trash can with a lid. He told me how the lid was the important thing that my coal hod didn’t have…the lid would smother the ashes, he said… all the while trying to get his new red suspenders to clasp his new denim overalls. He explained that when the can is full, it is taken to the landfill so that the neighborhood wouldn’t be destroyed when the ashes I put in the garden ignited the roots of a nearby pine. I thanked my lucky stars that, by some semblance of miracles, this hadn’t already happened. Dangerously foolish as I was, I left the complete care of the fireplace ashes to him. After about a week, the can was full and he loaded it into the truck with the other trash explaining that he stopped putting ashes in the can two days earlier to make sure there were no live coals.
About two hours later, he returned a very disturbed man and quite blackened. It seems he was going briskly down the long road to the landfill when he first noticed the flames that enveloped the cab of the truck. So, he did what seemed best at the time..he baled out of the truck scraping and banging his self up, but didn’t get burned. The truck went careening into the woods, stopped on a tree, and began a good fire. He did manage with effort and some help from other dump goers to extinguish the flame. The truck was bashed up and cooked well. It’s a good thing he had it fully insured (not like mine which didn’t have fire, theft and collision) since his fire or collision coverage would cover it… or so it seems. If I recall correctly, the fire wasnt covered since he lit it himself, and collision didn’t because he baled out of a truck on fire or else it would not have hit the tree.
But, I digress…. the moral of the story is… the cinders of a wood stove kept in a closed container for over 2 days should be checked before they are loaded in an open truck with a dried out christmas tree and driven briskly to be safely disposed of in the landfill… oh, and check those fine print clauses in your insurance policies.