A cigarette discarded into a planter is being blame for a fire at an apartment complex on Fruitdale Avenue in Grants Pass at around 4:43 this morning. A neighbor was awakened by the smell of smoke, knocked on the door of the apartment and tried putting down the flames in the planter with water.
Fire crews and police arrived within four minutes of the alarm. Officers knocked on the door and rang the doorbell; when no one answered, they forced entry into the smokey apartment, and got the four occupants out- including two children. Firefighters completed the extinguishment.
No one was injured. The fire did not enter the living space of the apartment, and there was no damage the apartment's contents, though an estimated $1,500 in damages was done to the building.
While the apartment had smoke alarms upstairs and downstairs, they did not activate. The apartment manager will investigate why this occurred.
Firefighters advise that it is not a good idea to discard cigarettes into a planter box, as many planting mixes contain combustible materials such as wood fiber. Always use a non-flammable container to discard cigarettes.