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Improperly disposed smoking material at fault for apartment complex blaze

From County of Prince William Department of Fire & Rescue:

On Tuesday, April 11th at 4:27 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to an apartment fire located in the 3600 block of Meandering Way in Woodbridge.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed an outside fire that had spread to the exterior entrance of the building. Firefighters quickly contained and extinguished the fire preventing extension into the apartment complex.

No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $12,000.

The origin and cause of the fire was an outside fire due to improper disposal of smoking materials and has been determined as accidental.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee urges residents to take precautions when using smoking materials. “Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths and although unintentional, the majority of home smoking-material fires are caused by human error.”

  •  If you smoke, smoke outside.
  •  Provide an area for individuals to properly extinguish and safely discard smoking materials.
  • Do Not discard butts or ashes into potting soil, mulch-laden landscapes, flower beds, grassy areas, woods, etc.
  • Before you throw out butts and ashes, douse in water or sand.
  • Use deep, wide, sturdy ashtrays on a sturdy foundation, e.g. table.
  • Check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
  • Never smoke in bed. Mattresses and bedding can catch on fire easily. Do Not smoke in bed because you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette.
  • Be alert when smoking! You won’t be alert if you’re sleepy, have been drinking,or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes; they are less likely to cause fires.
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