Las Vegas Sun

March 2, 2015

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Cigarette blamed for fire that damages apartment building

Apartment fire

An apartment in an eight-unit building was heavily damaged by a fire caused by a cigarette, Clark County fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to 5100 E. Tropicana Ave. about 5:30 p.m. Saturday and evacuated the building. The two-alarm blaze caused minor injury to one of the two occupants of the apartment and caused an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The Clark County fire department provided these tips to avoid fires or to be safe if there is one:

• Never smoke in bed.

• Do not put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs.

• Water down your ashes. Empty ashtrays into the toilet or an airtight metal container. Warm ashes dumped in waste cans can smolder for hours, then ignite.

• Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash. In Las Vegas, where windy conditions are common, wind and hot cigarette butts can pose a fire hazard.

• Do not leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended. Extinguish all smoking materials before you walk away.

• Smoke outside a home and use a sturdy ashtray or can filled with sand to collect ashes.

• If you begin feeling drowsy while watching TV or reading, extinguish your smoking materials in a safe container.

• Close a matchbook before striking and hold the match away from your body. Set your cigarette lighter on “low” flame to prevent burns.

• Never smoke in a home where oxygen tanks are used.

• Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family. Practice at least two escape routes from your home in the event of fire, and teach your family to meet at a predetermined meeting place outside the home.

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