Smoldering embers in an ash can touched off a small fire early Tuesday evening outside a residence in the 200 block of South Cedar Street.

Ottawa firefighters, arriving on the scene at 5:44 p.m., extinguished a small blaze behind the home at 205 S. Cedar St., which burned leaves, some decking material and blackened siding on the southeast corner of the home, fire department officials said. 

An ash can, with hot embers from a wood-burning fireplace, proved to be the source of the fire, which caused an estimated $500 damage to the home, according to a fire report. No one was injured, the report said.

Esther Oviedo, the home’s occupant, told firefighters she had removed the ash from the fireplace the day before and had put the ash can outside about 20 minutes before firefighters arrived, the report said. Oviedo said she did not think there still would be hot ash inside the bucket since the embers had been inside the can for nearly 24 hours before she set it outside, the report said. 

The embers sparked a fire in a nearby pile of leaves and spread to the deck and corner of the home, firefighters said.

Firefighters used a thermal imager to check the structure, but found no further abnormalities or a high heat source, the report said.