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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Springfield Fire Department is reminding smokers to dispose of their cigarettes safely, following an overnight apartment fire.
Springfield firefighters were called to Essex Apartments on West Battlefield around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. When the arrived, they found the deck of one of the apartments on fire. Fortunately, they were able to extinguish it before it could spread. The fire was caused by a smoker who disposed of a cigarette in a plastic container. That container caught on fire which then spread to the deck.
The Springfield Fire Department reminds smokers that only approved ashtrays should be used to dispose of cigarettes. Smokers should also follow these tips:•Use a sturdy ashtray or can filled with sand to collect ashes. Do not use aflammable container such as Tupperware and never use a potted plant. Pottingsoil contains combustible materials.•Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table.• Put it out. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray.• Do not let cigarette butts pile up on top of one another. Empty your ashtrayoften by first soaking the cigarette butts in water. NEVER toss hot cigarette buttsor ashes in the trash.• If you are drowsy, put it out. Fires caused by cigarettes often start on or next tothe victim – in bed, on a sofa or in the trash.• Check to make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order.
Careless smoking is the number one cause of fire fatalities in the City of Springfield and one of the leading causes of all house fires. Springfield's rate of careless smoking fires is 4 times the national average.
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For media only: For more information, call the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.