A flowerpot used as an ashtray was the origin of a residential fire near Twin Lakes on Sunday evening, according to a Capital City Fire/Rescue investigation.
One firefighter sustained a minor injury that didn’t require medical attention as CCFR responded to the fire om the Twin Lakes area at approximately 10:30 p.m., according to a news release from fire marshal Dan Jager.
“It was a two-story duplex,” said assistant fire chief Ed Quinto in a phone interview. “The fire was actually outside the residence on the balcony.”
The makeshift ashtray became the source of the fire about five hours after smoking materials were discarded there, Jager said. The fire then spread to siding of the house, causing approximately $20,000 in damage, Jager said.
“Contact was made with the tenants of both sides of the structure and there were no trapped occupants as originally believed,” Jager said. “The fire was quickly extinguished and a fire origin and cause investigation was conducted immediately.”
About 25 CCFR personnel responded to the call, which left the residence with damage to the siding and other parts of the residence. The owner was home at the time of the fire, Quinto said.
“He was taking a nap on the couch. They woke him up,” Quinto said.
The fire was reasonably quick to extinguish, Quinto said, but CCFR took the time to ensure it hadn’t spread to the house’s insulation as was the case at a recent fire near Point Lena.
“CCFR would like to remind residents that use planter boxes as ashtrays, to use extreme caution as the planting soils that are typically used do contain combustible organic materials, which can cause a fire to occur if smoking materials are discarded,” Jager said. “It is recommended that metal containers filled with water be used as ashtrays and even then, ensure the smoking materials are completely extinguished prior to leaving that area.”
The Red Cross offered assistance for those affected by the fire, Quinto said.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.