Misplaced smoking materials are being cited as the source of a fire Wednesday that caused $90,000 worth of damage to a home in Edmonds and displaced a man in his 60s who lives there and has no insurance.
Snohomish County Fire District 1 units were called at about 1:50 p.m. to a two-story house with a long driveway in the 8700 block of 236th Street SW, where smoke and flames were reported.
“Flames were visible in a window above the garage and smoke was coming from the roof when firefighters arrived,” Leslie Hynes, spokeswoman for Fire District 1, said in a press release.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and contain the fire to two rooms on the upper level of the home. There were no injuries, but fire and smoke damage left the home uninhabitable. The Red Cross assisted the resident, who according to the press release has no insurance.
Investigators determined that the fire started accidentally due to “misplaced smoking materials” in a room above the garage.
Fire District 1 offers these tips to prevent such fires:
- 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.