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Investigators: Discarded smoking material caused apartment fire

Posted June 25, 2009

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— Investigators determined that improperly discarded smoking material caused a fire at north Raleigh apartment complex that took nearly two hours to bring under control Thursday morning.

A resident called in the fire in a 16-unit building in the Woods at North Bend complex, 6305 Shanda Drive, at 4:46 a.m., according to an incident report. Firefighters found heavy flames and smoke pouring from both stories of the building when they arrived. Forty firefighters worked to bring the fire under control shortly after 6:30 a.m.

A quarter of the building sustained significant fire and smoke damage, the report said. No one was injured.

Fire investigator Lt. G.A. Williams ruled the fire accidental and said it was caused by smoking material improperly discarded at the entrance to the laundry room.

The report says that the building had a smoke detector but no sprinklers.

Last July, a fire at the Woods at North Bend apartment complex left 16 units uninhabitable. Fire officials also deemed that blaze an accident.

18 Comments

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  • dib Jun 26, 2009

    I know what we can do to prevent this. Ban laundry rooms from apartments. Just like banning pine straw from being x feet from the apartments that burned down last time. Next we should ban trees and homes from being within tossing distance of a road so that smokers can toss their butt out the window whenever they want.

    We could not ban smoking. That is bad.

  • Z Man Jun 25, 2009

    You know what gets me as a smoker... people putting paper trash in cigarette receptacles. Use a trash can, not an ashtray!

  • Munchie Jun 25, 2009

    I'm glad everyone is OK. Is it really accidental if someone purposely tosses a cig or whatever was being smoked without putting it out b4 tossing it?

  • chelley Jun 25, 2009

    CrickeyGayle--I agree and as a side not i wish smoker's wouldn't flick their lit cigarettes when driving on the highways either. Not only is it dangerous but it's also rude and inconsiderate.

  • MyNameIsMud Jun 25, 2009

    "If this really was just a cigarette left burning somewhere, the apartment complex needs some heavy duty intervention in it's construction - a smoking ashtray or a carelessly tossed cigarette will not start a building fire unless there is something else going on."

    YES it will--it's called smoldering.

  • CricketGayle Jun 25, 2009

    I agree with Ferguson. Yes, it's your right to smoke, but please do so responsibly. Snuff out your cigarette butts and put them in a proper receptacle (NOT the ground).

  • brassy Jun 25, 2009

    Why do smokers think they can toss their trash just anywhere?

  • FragmentFour Jun 25, 2009

    If this really was just a cigarette left burning somewhere, the apartment complex needs some heavy duty intervention in it's construction - a smoking ashtray or a carelessly tossed cigarette will not start a building fire unless there is something else going on.

  • sartainfamily Jun 25, 2009

    Smoking ruins lives, and not just the smokers' lives. I hope the displaced renters are okay.

  • rebekah816 Jun 25, 2009

    Hmm...somehow, 'improperly discarded smoking material' does not suggest just a live cigarette coal from an ash tray...sounds like it someone may have been smoking something else...if it does mean just a cigarette coal, then what's with the run-around language...it's misleading and stupid!

    And how many of you holier-than-thou people who are condemning all smokers as being careless idiots have ever left your house with your dryer running or maybe forgot to turn off your coffee pot? That's just as careless and dangerous as dumping a hot ash tray!

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