Investigators believe a misplaced cigarette sparked a fire in a garage at an Edmonds duplex Sunday morning, causing more than $45,000 damage.
The fire was reported at 4:11 a.m. in the attached garage of a duplex in the 22500 block of 93rd Place West. “Smoke alarms woke an 81-year-old woman and her 50-year-old son and they safely exited their home,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1, which provides fire and emergency medical service to the City of Edmonds.
Smoke was coming from the garage when firefighters arrived. They quickly extinguished the flames inside and kept the fire from spreading into the adjacent living area, Hynes said. No one was injured, but the woman and her son were evaluated for smoke inhalation by medics at the scene.
Household items stored in the garage were destroyed by the fire and the adjacent duplex where the mother and her son live sustained smoke damage. The mother owns the duplex and has insurance. The other unit in the duplex was undamaged.
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 filleda 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.
– Use reduced ignition strength cigarettes that are less likely to cause fires.
– 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