Fire pit embers believed to have ignited flames on an outdoor porch

Winterville Community Fire Department

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Firefighters are using a weekend fire to remind people of important safety tips when it comes to using grills or fire pits.

The Winterville Community Fire Department responded to a structure fire along the 5000 block of Old Tar Road around 11:37 p.m. Saturday.

The flames had already been knocked down before crews arrived on scene, but a section of an outdoor porch attached to a home had been burned, according to a post by the department.

Officials say they believe embers or heated remnants from a fire pit fell and ignited the porch after everything was believed to be out.

Now firefighters are reminding people to never use a fire pit, a grill, or any other heating equipment on a wooden porch.

"While fire pits serve a fun purpose for outdoor activities this time of year, please use them either on the ground or in an area that is free of combustibles," Winterville Community Fire Department said.

The department also recommends soaking the fire pit and surrounding areas with a garden hose after you're done to help reduce the risk of fires.