This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
MILLCREEK -- Occupants of a condo complex escaped an early morning fire Sunday after an improperly disposed cigarette caught the nearby building on fire.
The fire was reported at 4:45 a.m. at the Polo Club Condo complex at 1452 E. Foxboro Drive in Millcreek. The sleeping occupants of both units affected were alerted by smoke detectors, Captain Cliff Burningham of the Unified Fire Authority said. Occupants were able to escape the structure without injury.
I instantly grabbed the fire extinguisher and was running toward the porch and the porch exploded. Basically the glass just shattered. The fire started coming through really fast.
When fire crews arrived, they found a fire in a second story condo, which caused extensive damage to the unit totaling approximately $150,000, Burningham said. A second unit sustained water and fire damage to the outside balcony area.
"I instantly grabbed the fire extinguisher and was running toward the porch and the porch exploded," said resident Jesse Kavoukas. "Basically the glass just shattered. The fire started coming through really fast."
Crews worked for about 20 minutes to put the fire out and were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby units. There were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters, however, three animals perished in the fire.
Investigators later determined that the fire started on the second story balcony, from cigarettes that were disposed of improperly in a plastic container, which was being used as an ash tray, Burningham said.
Occupants of both units have been housed in available condos within the complex.
When using cigarettes, Burningham cautioned people to extinguish and dispose of smoking products appropriately, particularly in containers that are non-combustible.