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At approximately 9:14 AM on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the Central Dakota Communications Center received a report of smoke at an apartment building on the 300 block of West Ryan Drive. The Bismarck Fire Department was dispatched to investigate.
The first arriving fire crew reported a three story apartment building with light smoke showing from a deck on the south side, and the building residents evacuating. The fire crew established command, and went in to investigate. The fire crew found smoke coming from the deck of a third floor apartment. The fire crew found a fire involving a flower pot and deck boards immediately below and around the flowerpot. Firefighters extinguished the fire with a hand held fire extinguisher. The fire crews conducted a salvage and overhaul operation to find and extinguish any remaining smoldering materials. When the overhaul operation was complete the scene was handed over to building management.
Five fire department apparatus and 12 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Bismarck Police Department assisted with scene control. Metro Area Ambulance was on scene to provide assistance. The apartment building was occupied at time of the fire. The occupant of the affected apartment was not displaced. There were no injuries to building occupants or first responders. The fire was contained to the area of origin. There was limited fire damage to the deck. The cause of the fire was attributed to the improper disposal of smoking materials.
By following a few simple safety tips people can limit the risk of smoking related fires in the home:• Fully extinguish all smoking materials, every time.• Pinch it, before you pitch it. Make sure butts are cool to the touch before discarding.• Do not dispose butts into planters or flower pots. Potting mix often contains combustible material that can smolder and ignite.• Never use a plastic container for butts. Use only approved non-combustible containers to dispose of smoking materials.