Smoldering fireplace ashes are being blamed for a fire that severely damaged a home at 14415 S. 32nd West Tuesday.

Bluffdale and Riverton volunteer firefighters and Salt Lake County firefighters were called to Max Buehler's home at 10:45 a.m. and were able to quench the fire before it reached the bedroom area of the home. But the garage, kitchen and living room areas were destroyed. Damage exceeds $70,000, said City Recorder Connie Rice, whose husband is Bluffdale's fire chief."It had been burning for some time before they heard something pop and crack in the garage," said Rice, who talked to the Buehlers at the scene of the fire Tuesday.

Buehler initially tried to battle the flames by carrying water from the kitchen sink to the garage in a bucket. He was treated for minor burns by paramedics, Rice said.