Just after 9am Wednesday, while 614 was clearing an alarm on Mantua Grove Rd, crews were alerted of an additional call in the local at the RiverCove Apartments on Grove Ave. While en-route county communications provided several updates including one from building maintenance reporting their was a fire on an outside balcony and that the fire had been extinguished. Crews arrived on scene and located what was a small container used to discard cigarettes had caught fire, burning the exterior wall of the apartment. Building maintenance was able to extinguish the fire and prevent further extension to the apartment or adjacent apartments. No one was injured at the time of the incident.
Cigarette fires cause close to 1,000 deaths and 3,000 injuries each year in the united states, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As the ignition source in fires responsible for over 20% of all fire deaths , cigarettes are the nations largest single cause of such deaths. This minor incident could have become a much larger incident very quickly. Here are some tips for fire safety when it comes to smoking:
-If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms.
-Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
-Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
-Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
-Never smoke and never allow anyone to smoke where medical oxygen is used. Medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal.
-Leave the building right away if you hear the sound of a fire alarm. Stay outside at your meeting place until you are told the building is safe.
-Treat every fire alarm as an emergency. When the alarms sounds, get outside.