- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UXBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Fire officials say a blaze that caused an estimated $80,000 in damage to an Uxbridge home was caused by week-old fireplace ashes.

A mother and her three children escaped the two-alarm fire late Monday night without any injuries.

Chief Bill Kessler says fireplace ashes can remain hot for days even after the fire is out.

He says the family took ashes that had been in the fireplace for a week, put them in a paper bag and placed them outside on a back porch.

He says ashes should be put only in a metal pail, doused with water, and placed well away from the house or anything that could catch fire.

The Red Cross is helping the family with emergency shelter, food and clothes.

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