At the time of the fire two occupants were in the basement of the home when they heard someone knocking on the front door. Upon going upstairs and opening the door, a passerby indicated that the back of the house was on fire. Both occupants quickly exited through the front door with the family dog. The passerby, a neighbor, had already notified 911. More than 65 firefighters responded on the call which included a RID and Task Force.
Fire Investigators were called to the scene to conduct and origin and cause investigation. One of the occupants stated he was a smoker and only smoked outside in back of the house and used a container for the discarded cigarettes. Investigators determined that the fire started in the container next to the box bay window from a discarded cigarette. The cause of the fire is listed as ACCIDENTAL.
There were no injuries to civilian or fire and rescue personnel. Damages were estimated to be $200,000.00 to the structure and $100,000.00 to the contents. Four adults and one dog were displaced as a result. Six chickens perished in the fire.
When smoking outside MCFRS, along with its partners in safety at NFPA and the US Fire Administration, recommend the following:
• Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grass, leaves and other things that could easily ignite.
• Put your cigarette out in an ashtray or bucket with sand. Use ashtrays with a wide base so they won’t tip over and start a fire.