Fire pits, security cameras, and guardian angels

A guest went to bed last night and left a fire burning in my fire pit about 11:30pm. At 11:35pm my security camera (Arlo) started going off repeatedly so I checked them @11:45pm.
The fire had moved to the ground and was starting to consume one of my Adirondack chairs. Guest didn’t answer her phone. Airbnb CS could only call her cell phone and agreed to send her an email before asking was there anything else they could do. Funny how they really can’t do anything in a real emergency.

Fire department put out the fire before it spread to anything else. Picture was taken @11:48 and fire was extinguished @12:10. The guests never answered the fireman’s knocking on the door or came out to investigate the two fire trucks and fire pumper in the driveway.

Security cameras are worth their weight in gold!


Holy $hit! Thank goodness. I would lose my mind. I’d be in my car driving up there and getting them out of my rental.

Airbnb is just a booking platform but they could remove people like this from their platform. Will they? Before or after she gets someone killed?

Now what about the dolt renting your cabin? Her reservation ends today right?

Were you the one with the beautiful decorative fire pit? Will you continue to offer this amenity?


She left early this am in tears and feels awful but not awful enough to offer to compensate for the repairs.

My house rules tell guests to cover hot ashes AND extinguish with water. She went to bed without doing either and lied to me about that.

Anyway, I’m reconsidering the fire pit. My cabin sits in a forest which if gone would totally stop the renters. Of course setting the house on fire would probably have that affect too.


But hopefully she’ll accept the charges through the resolution center…assuming this was an Airbnb booking.


We have a fire ban on now but I would not let Guests play with fire, too many local stories about people coming out of the city who seen brain dead.

So what did she say when you mentioned the chair going up in smoke?

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“I am so sorry…”

It was. …

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I would look up a similar chair online, print off the details and obtain cash payment before they left.

Going through ABB is far too risky.

She’s already gone and Air know as does my security camera footage. They don’t stop recording when someone plays an idiot card. She apologized for the fire on the messaging app. My cameras prove she was playing loose with the truth when she stated she extinguished the fire. My mother would want to wash her mouth out with soap.

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If she just accepts the charge all is well and good. But many people here report that Airbnb didn’t back them up. Most are one time posters who come here to rage, possibly not be entirely truthful about what really happened, and put all the blame on Airbnb.

I’m very interested to hear what the final outcome is on this. She can claim she extinguished it but she clearly didn’t. Oh wait, maybe the fire sprite that lives in the forest came and re-ignited the fire?


I imagine you have security footage of any steps she took or didn’t take to extinguish the fire. Is this guest aware that you have a security camera pointed at the fire pit?

Editing to add: I’m glad everyone and your property is safe!


What an amazing story! Miracles do happen!

It doesn’t matter if she has checked out. Send the request for the Adirondack chair anyway. She is lucky that’s all it was.

The guest was careless, did not follow your explicit house rules and you almost lost your house over it. And what’s with her sleeping through fire trucks, sirens and firemen knocking???

I would review her accordinginly no matter how apologetic she was. She is a brainless idiot who deserves every word of a bad review.

She is lucky it’s just a bad review on Airbnb and not her stupid life!

.and YES… no more fire pit.! I have a gas BBQ and I was right here when some idiot guests lit it, walked away forgot about it (they fell asleep?) it got way too hot and was smoking like a mother, clouds of smoke were billowing up here and I had to run down. What if I weren’t here!!! Most of the time I am.

But yes, unless the fire pit is a gas one, no more. And even then sometimes if they can’t get the thing to ignite it means they will actually have to get out a match or lighter.

So I would just remove the whole thing from your listing. Write to future guests who were expecting it that there’s been a safety incident and you have to remove it from the home.


They sense motion…


Yikes, I’d institute a ban at once. I don’t even allow guests to use the gas grill.

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I didn’t know it either but I’m sure glad they did!

Cabin, when my cameras sense motion, they record and send an alert to my cell phone. I had just settled in for a long winters nap…when I received an alert from my digital door lock that the guest had locked the door. So…10 minutes later when my camera also sends the alert that it senses motion…I’m thinking oh no…bears again! But it was the fire jumping the fire pit and infighting the nearby stuff. It took me about 8 minutes to realize what it was because heat on infrared just shows up as a white blob. After looking at the footage from when the guest was there and then seeing later footage where it was droping to the ground and starting to spread…I realized what it was.

This link to my Arlo footage is only good for a day but if you catch it in time it was good to see the firemen show up. ARLO and the Firemen


Exciting, my Arlo footage has been limited to lots of clips of guests taking luggage from their car to the front door.

I turned off the alerts as they annoyed me. I probably would get 100 plus a day.

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Will the fire department send you a bill for their intervention? I think, if the fire is a result of such carelessness that you’re supposed to pay the fire department. At least in my home country that is the case.

In case you’re expecting such a bill, make sure the guest pays for it too.


That would be quite unusual in my part of the USA.

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Cabin, this is footage of the fire pit as I waited for the fire department after deciding the guest wouldn’t answer.

Fire pit

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