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House Fire on Wildwood Lane Caused by Cigarette

Repairs will top $20,000 after mulch ignites

A cigarette and some dry mulch combined to start a costly fire on Wildwood Lane March 25.

The blaze was contained to the basement and part of the living room, but the house may have suffered structural damage. Fire Chief Jeff Branic said the ultimate cost of the fire could reach $50,000.

"Only a small section of the floor burned, but you have smoke damage throughout the entire house," Branic said. "And the family won't be living there while it's being worked on."

Firefighters from the were called to 20266 Wildwood Lane about 2:30 p.m. to find a cigarette thrown in a mulch bed had burned through the wall of the house and started a fire in the basement. 

The fire came up through a section of the living room floor before it was contained.

Firefighters were able to rescue a dog from the basement. No injuries were reported.

"This could have all been prevented with proper disposal of a cigarette," Branic said.

Cigarettes, Mulch Don't Mix

Every year, several house and apartment fires are caused by people throwing smoldering cigarettes in mulch beds or potted plants.

"People need to understand mulch is made of organic material and it will burn," Branic said.

The fire chief said that in this case, smoke alarms sounded, but urged residents to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes.

"They do save lives," he said.

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