Elkhart house fire caused by burning incense


A lesson in using incense as Elkhart fire investigators say it’s the cause of a fire at a home in the 1400 block of Prairie Avenue yesterday.

They say a child was burning incense in a second floor bedroom when it came in contact with some clothes and started the fire.

It did about $3,000 in damage, according to authorities. You may not realize it, but that red ember at the top of an incense stick can burn as hot as a sparkler or the end of a lit cigarette.

“You know the red part of the incense is in upwards to 1,800 degrees, its no different than a sparkler,” explains Ken Stouder, an Elkhart Fire Department investigator. “I think a lot of people don’t really think about it.  A lot of people use them, I don’t think anybody gave it a thought, of the potential of starting a fire.”

A smoke detector alerted everyone to the fire. It’s important to have a proper container for incense, as well as making sure it is not close to any combustible material.


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