Denison Fire Rescue officials said no one was hurt after a discarded cigarette caused flames to break out at an addiction-recovery home early Monday morning.
Assistant Chief of Prevention and Fire Marshal John Weda said, shortly after 3 a.m., crews responded to a fire alarm call at the Surrender House for Men in the 500 block West Morgan Street. Weda said two residents were home at the time of the fire and were woken up by the alarm. Upon searching the property for the source, one of the residents made his way up to a second-floor balcony where Weda said a cigarette butt, left behind sometime before, had caught a portion of wooden siding on fire.
“He grabbed a fire extinguisher and put that on it to control it as best he could until we got there,” Weda said of the resident. “When we did get there, flames were showing on the balcony. But we got in there, prevented it from getting to the attic and made a good stop on it.”
Weda said the accidental fire caused minor damage to the structure and no injuries were reported. The assistant chief and marshal said he understood that as many as six other residents live at the property, but those men were staying the night elsewhere as part of an organized trip.
Weda said the department handles an average of five to six cigarette-started porch fires each year, making an otherwise preventable incident an all-too-common occurrence.
“Some common sense goes a long way,” Weda said. “Just make sure you discard your cigarette butts properly and keep them away from combustible materials.”
Denison crews responded to two other structure fires on Sunday. Weda said firefighters responded to a home in the 2800 block shortly before 11 a.m. after a cellphone charger overheated and caused a wall and mattress to catch fire. Crews also extinguished a fire in the 300 block of South Brown, after embers from burning bamboo escaped a wood stove and caused a storage shed to catch fire.
Weda said no injuries were reported in either fire and both structures sustained only minor damage.