Weekend fire is a lesson in how not to dispose of cigarette butts

McKINNEY, Texas – The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) responded to a reported water flow alarm at the Magnolia Ranch apartments located at 3191 Medical Center Dr., at 1 p.m. on May 17. Units arrived to find smoke alarms going off and water running off the balcony of one of the second floor apartments. Fire sprinklers kept the flames from spreading and firefighters were able to shut the fire sprinkler system down.

Firefighters discovered a partially burned cardboard box on the balcony. The apartment residents told fire investigators that they had put discarded cigarette butts into the box earlier in the day.

No one was hurt and damage was minimal.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 5% of home fires are started by smoking materials. These fires caused almost one in four home fire deaths.

Smoking material fires are preventable.

If you smoke:

  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
  • Before throwing away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing them with water or sand is recommended.
  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation or mulch that can easily ignite.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters and matches up high out of the reach of children.

More safety information can be located at www.mckinneyfire.org or www.nfpa.org.