Discarded cigarettes cited as cause for Saturday house fire
Shawnee Fire Investigators have determined that a house fire Saturday evening was started by improper disposal of a cigarette.
A neighbor called 911, around 5:15 p.m., when she spotted flames climbing the siding of the home at 6944 Cottonwood Drive. The same neighbor alerted the homeowner and family of the fire.
The Shawnee Fire Battalion Chief at the scene said that firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before is did any major damage. "There was some extension to the attic, but we knocked it out quickly."
Fire damage could be seen on the back of the house from the rear deck, up the siding and along the chimney to the roof line. Firefighters were patching a hole in the roof with plywood after the fire was extinguished.
Shawnee Fire Marshal Corey Sands says the fire caused an estimated $15,000 in damage.
In a news release, the department reminds residents that this is the second house fire within 30 days caused by improper disposal of cigarettes. The release says that in both fires smoke alarms did not activate because the fires started outside and quickly spread into the attic, above the smoke alarms and occupants.
On March 13, a home in northern Shawnee was destroyed by fire.
Fire officials say that smoking material should be extinguished in a deep, sturdy ashtray. If ashtrays are not available, use a metal can or a pail filled with water or sand.
"We are very fortunate that there were no injuries in both of these fires. Had these fires occurred at night, there could have been a devastating outcome," Shawnee Fire Marshal Corey Sands said on Monday.
Firefighters from the Lenexa Fire Department and Overland Park Fire Department assisted at the scene of Saturday's fire.