LFR frustrated with cigarette-related fires

About a dozen fires across the capital city have been caused by improperly disposed cigarettes in the last few months.  It has firefighters worried people are being too careless when it comes to lighting up.

The most recent blaze that could have been prevented happened Thursday afternoon when a deck at the Lodge Apartments caught fire.  The blaze was put out quickly only causing damage to the deck and siding.  Fire Investigator Chuck Schweitzer says, “He put a cigarette out in a plastic flower pot, left to run some errands and came back to find the deck on fire.”

Last April, a fire at a home daycare could have been fatal if a passerby hadn't warned the adults and children inside.

Just days later, an elderly woman and her dog were killed after her mobile home went up in flames.  Firefighters say a lit cigarette fell through a couch igniting the blaze.

The same week, another preventable blaze when a  passerby tossed a cigarette onto some leaves between two homes near 17th and A streets.  Benjamin Mailand lives in the area and told us, “after we walked out of the house, we heard a something, that I'm assuming was some small explosion, and that's when the rest of the fire shot up.”

Investigators say they're frustrated and worried we might lose another person if people aren't more careful.  Schweitzer says, “People have got to realize if there going to smoke, they've go to extinguish the cigarette in a non–combustible container with a lid.  All the fires we've had, they've been carelessly discarded or they've been discarded in containers that are combustible.”