Although I play lotto and have not won yet, I am still lucky.
Three years ago I was emptying my basement wood stove ash into a 30 gallon metal garbage can kept 30 feet from my log cabin. The ash can was full and the stove cold for about 24 hours. For the sake of expediency I decided to empty the cold ash into my double wheeled wheelbarrow with plastic tray. Naturally I was concerned, but saw no coals in the ash as I used a metal dust pan to scoop out the ash from the stove into the wheelbarrow looking for any active coals as I proceeded.
Task completed I put the wheelbarrow outside the basement door which is under an outside deck some 8 feet above. Not concerned as I saw no live coals, I went back inside to start the wood stove with kindling and firewood. Once that was accomplished I headed to the village for some shopping items.
About 40 minutes later I returned home and noticed soot ashes on my outside deck floor. My first thought was maybe there was a chimney fire while I was gone. After all there was quite a south wind that day. A short time later I went to the basement to replenish the wood stove. As usual I looked through the glass windows on my 6 foot wide double doors and was in shock to see the wheelbarrow had no pan left, both rubber wheels were half burnt, log splitter Honda motor was burnt and one wheel half burnt. The gasoline had evaporated and the engine was shot. The deck floor joists were blackened with soot but no burn marks were observed.
So, about $500.00 later I had a new Honda engine and new wheelbarrow and a whole new respect for firewood ash. Let me say again, “Respect for firewood ash”!
Talk about lucky…I have not won Lotto yet but my cabin did not burn down by my own hand. So PLEASE take my experience and have the upmost respect for firewood ash. If you do not see live coals just believe they are still under the gray ash waiting to make havoc. Use your metal container with tight fitting lid and place at least 30 feet away from your home and use religiously!
“From a little spark may burst a flame”.