ST. PAUL (WCCO) – Crews battled two fires early Wednesday morning. One was caused by a falling tree branch, but the other was due to a discarded cigarette.
According to the city fire department, a home on the 900 block of Charles Avenue caught on fire at about midnight after a tree limb broke off a neighbor’s tree, landing on power lines.
The electrical mast shorted out, which the department says then caused the gas line to the kitchen stove to arc and ignite.
The fire was estimated to have caused more than $100,000 in damage to the home, even though the flames were mostly confined to the kitchen. No one was injured.
A few hours later, a smoker at a home on the 400 block of Goodhue Street discarded a cigarette in a plastic coffee container that had a number of other discarded cigarettes in it.
The back of the house caught on fire, but everyone inside escaped without injury. That fire is believed to be responsible for an estimated $80,000 damage to the house.
The fire department said, “Oftentimes a hot butt will start the others on fire. Cigarettes should be put out in a non-combustible container, preferably filled with sand or water.”