Porch Fire Minor, But Raises Major Questions About Safety

A minor back porch fire on Garland Street last week has sparked a warning from Chief Leonard Albanese to be careful about activities on back porches.

All over Greater Boston, and in Chelsea over the last year or two, porch fires have been a great concern to the department – and last week’s fire was no better time to remind people about the dangers.

“This again brings attention to the dangers of rear porch fires in the city and the entire metro region,” said the chief. “Porch fires have the potential to burn undetected and cause rapid fire spread. Residents should not cook or smoke on rear porches. If they do smoke, submerge the butts in water to extinguish.  Never throw butts from a porch to the yard. Cooking is only permitted at ground level and at least 15 feet away from any structure. These safety precautions may save your neighborhood.”

The fire on Garland Street last Thursday afternoon started on the rear porch in the floor joist between the first and second floors, said the chief.

Firefighters made a quick attack and kept the fire out of the house. The house sustained residual damage only. There were no civilian injuries and one firefighter sustained a minor injury.

The fire is under investigation and doesn’t appear to be suspicious, said Albanese.

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