A house destroyed by flames Tuesday morning because of careless smoking is causing Regina firefighters to speak out about preventative measures.
According to fire marshall Randy Ryba, there have been 12 fires caused by smoker’s material, which is up from the yearly average of nine.
“And we still have four months left,” he said.
Smoker’s material includes cigarettes, pipe tobacco, matches and lighters.
The home, located at 1915 12th Ave. North, was ignited from discarded smoker’s material in a cedar planter.
The fire then crept its way up the vinyl siding and into the roof, explained Ryba.
No one was hurt in the blaze.
“It’s frustrating because it’s so preventable,” he said. “I’m very concerned.”
Chief Layne Jackson said carelessly putting out cigarettes is dangerous because they can smolder for hours, causing a delayed fire, like this one.
“It can light on fire several hours later when people are sleeping — when people are vulnerable,” he said.
The city’s website lists a number of preventative measures, including using a heavy ashtray that won’t blow over, keeping matches and lighters away from children and not smoking while intoxicated or drowsy.
“The primary thing is when you’re disposing of your cigarette…use a metal container that’s filled with sand,” Jackson added.
“Peat moss is a typical culprit, but we’ve had fires in plastic milk containers, on flat ashtrays,” Ryba said.
The house now has a large hole in the roof and is surrounded by burnt off pieces.
Although the residents are displaced, Jackson said he has seen fatalities due to fires caused by smoker’s material.
The city’s website also states careless smoking is the number one cause of fire deaths in Regina.