The Shoreline Fire Department assisted Snohomish County Fire District 1 crews on Saturday to put out a fire that caused more than $110,000 damage and displaced a man and a woman from the home they rented in Mountlake Terrace.
Neighbors called 911 just before noon to report smoke coming from the house in the 5700 block of 239th Place SW. No one was inside the house at the time of the fire and there were no injuries
“There was smoke inside the house when firefighters arrived. They located a fire in one of the bedrooms and quickly knocked down the flames,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical service in the City of Mountlake Terrace.
“Fire damage was contained to the bedroom, but there was heavy smoke damage throughout the house.”
A fire investigator determined the fire was started by a cigarette that ignited combustibles in the bedroom.
Cigarettes and other smoking materials such as cigars and pipes are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
Firefighters offer these safety tips:
- The safest place to smoke is outside of the home. Use a sturdy ashtray or a can filled with sand to collect ashes.
- Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won’t work.
- Put it out – all the way, all the time. The cigarette needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray.
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
- Chair and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don’t put ash trays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used. Oxygen makes any fire burn hotter and faster.
- If you are drowsy or falling asleep, put out the cigarette. Never smoke in bed.
- Properly install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and in all sleeping areas.
- Have an escape plan. Plan two ways to escape from every room and practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children's sight and reach.