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At approximately 4:11 AM on Tuesday, August 18, the Central Dakota Communications Center received a report of fire on the deck of a trailer home at the 1000 block of University. The Bismarck Fire Department was dispatched to investigate.
The first arriving fire crew reported a single wide trailer with smoke showing, and an individual discharging a fire extinguisher onto a fire on the deck. The fire crew had the person come down off the deck and they confirmed that all occupants were out of the home. The fire crew pulled a hose line and extinguished the fire. Once the fire was extinguished, an overhaul operation was conducted to find any remaining hot spots. When overhaul was complete, control of the building was returned to home owners.
Six fire department apparatus and 17 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. The Bismarck Police Department assisted with scene control. Metro Area Ambulance was on stand-by for medical support. The trailer home was occupied at the time of the fire. There were no injuries to the occupants of the home. There were no injuries to first responders. Fire damage was limited to the deck. A fire investigation was conducted and determined that the fire was caused by smoking material (cigarette butt) that was discarded into a plastic container. The cigarette butt was discarded approximately two hours prior. The cause of this fire has been classified as accidental.
As awareness about the health effects of second-hand smoke has increased, the number of households banning indoor smoking has grown. Careful disposal of smoking materials is as important outside as inside. Do not throw out cigarette butts into vegetation, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, mulch, leaves, or similar yard waste. Only use non-combustible receptacles to dispose of your butts. Never use a plastic butt can because they can easily catch fire. The resulting fire can spread to the home’s siding, deck or porch and from there, into the home itself.
It is important for smokers to know the steps they can take to keep themselves and their families safe from fire. Don’t let your world go up in smoke.