Cigarette likely cause of four-plex deck fire in Picnic Point area late Saturday

A deck fire caused $14,000 to a four-plex in the Picnic Point area on Saturday night.

The residents reported the fire in the 14000 block of 61st Place West around 11:15 p.m. “One of the residents heard a crackling sound and discovered the fire on the back deck of her first-floor unit,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1.

Residents evacuated the building safely and there were no injuries. Before firefighters arrived, a barbecue propane tank exploded on the deck. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and damage was contained to the exterior of the building.

Red Cross assisted a family of four temporarily displaced from the first-floor unit, which had minor smoke and water damage.

An investigator from the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was most likely started by a discarded cigarette.

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:
-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

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