Cigarette starts apartment fire

Langley City Fire Chief Rory Thompson urges smokers to use proper ashtrays.

A cigarette that was stubbed out in a balcony flower planter smouldered before igniting shortly before dawn on Thursday (Aug. 9).

The planter was on the third floor balcony of an older apartment building in the 5300 block of 207 St.

Langley City fire chief Rory Thompson said that the growing medium, either peat moss or potting soil, would have allowed the cigarette to smoulder for three or four hours before it ignited the material.

The fire, which was discovered at 4:15 a.m., caused $5,000 damage, and was confined to the balcony area. No one was injured.

Eighteen firefighters responded to the fire which triggered the building’s smoke alarms.

This is the third fire involving improperly discarded cigarettes to which City firefighters have responded this year, Thompson said.

“Use a proper ashtray,” Thompson urged smokers.