PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – A fire at a four-family home in Palmer Monday morning was caused by a lit cigarette.
Palmer firefighters were called at around 4:15 a.m. to a fire in the area of a porch on the right side of 1035-1037 Pleasant Street. The fire spread into the first and second floors. Access was limited due to downed power lines however entry was made and most of the fire was put out within the hour.
The fire started accidentally with a lit cigarette near a porch stairway, said Palmer Fire Chief William J. Bernat Jr., Palmer Police Chief Christopher J. Burns, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. The discarded cigarette ignited combustible materials nearby a set of porch stairs.
Nine fire departments were called to assist in putting out the fire that included Three Rivers, Bondsville, Wilbraham, Ware, Monson, Ludlow, and Warren. Brimfield Fire Department provided station coverage.
Fire officials are reminding residents to make sure smoking materials are put out all the way, every time.
“There’s no truly safe way to smoke,” said Chief Bernat. “But if you or your guests must smoke, please use a heavy ashtray with water or sand and remember to put it out, all the way, every time. Cigarettes and other smoking materials can and do cause deadly fires, and we’re extremely fortunate that no one was injured here.”
“As the weather warms up, we start to see more people stepping outside to smoke,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “That means more fires that begin with smoking materials tossed on the ground, dropped into planters, or stubbed out on railings and stairways. These fires are especially dangerous because they can grow to a large and dangerous size before anyone inside is aware of them.”