An improperly discarded cigarette is blamed for a fire in a McLaren Drive townhouse complex last week.
Fire crews responded to the blaze, in the 44000 block of McLaren Drive, at 12: 04 a.m. early Thursday morning.
Crews found fire and smoke coming from the back of two townhouse units. Firefighters knocked the blaze down, but not before extensive fire, smoke and water damage had been done. Three adjacent units sustained minor smoke and heat damage.
The occupants of the townhouses were able to escape unharmed.
Assistant fire chief Ian Josephson said the fire is considered accidental. He said a cigaretted discarded into a planter on an exterior patio was likely to blame. The cigarette is believed to have ignited the peat moss and other plant material. The flames quickly then spread up the building's vinyl siding.