Nine people were displaced by a house fire in Martinez early Sunday morning that was ignited by hot ashes that were placed in a plastic garbage container, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
Five engines and two trucks responded at 4:22 a.m. to the fire in the 2300 block of Banbury Loop, fire Capt. Tracie Dutter said.
The displaced residents consisted of two permanent residents and seven family members, Dutter said. They declined assistance from the Red Cross.
The fire occurred when residents placed hot ashes into a plastic container near a gas meter, resulting in a high-pressure gas leak when the ashes melted through the container and meter.
The fire district reminds residents that hot ashes should only be placed in metal containers.