Discarded Cigarette Starts Avalon Drive Fire
The weekend flames were quickly doused and no damage was done inside the apartment.
An improperly discarded cigarette started a weekend fire on Avalon Drive, but firefighters doused the flames before they spread inside the property.
According to Deputy Fire Chief Rick McClellan, firefighters received a call around 6:45 p.m. on Friday that flames were rising on a deck the apartment complex.
McClellan said firefighters had the fire completely under control by 7:15 p.m. There was no structural or electrical damage done, though the flames did reach the apartment’s attic.
“Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as it looks,” said McClellan. “It was careless disposal of smoking materials. The cigarette was put out in a plastic bucket, but it wasn’t all the way out and that’s what started the fire.”
In 2010, 1,862 fires were caused by smoking including 576 structure fires, 25 motor vehicle fires, 946 tree, brush or grass fires, 78 trash or rubbish fires, 114 special outside fires, and eight cultivated vegetation or crop fires. These fires caused ten civilian deaths, 36 civilian injuries, 42 firefighter injuries and an estimated $14.7 in property damage, according to the state Fire Marshal’s office.
Because of the dangers of cigarettes, McClellan urged residents to only put their cigarettes out in approved metal containers with sand or water in them.
“People have a habit of putting them out in flower pots, but that can be very flammable,” said McClellan. “It’s a simple thing, but something that can be very dangerous.”