Investigators Determine Cause in Iowa City House Fire
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Investigators now know what caused a house fire along H Street in Iowa City.
Firefighters say someone threw a cigarette into a bedroom garbage can on March 11. The fire quickly spread through the house located at 1811 H Street, in Iowa City.
The fire was accidental, but it did cause extensive damage, investigators said.
Everyone made it out safely, though one person went to a nearly hospital for evaluation. Firefighters say the house's smoke alarms were working. They are reminding people to check their alarms monthly and to make a fire escape plan.
As with virtually all types of fires, there are many steps people can take to prevent smoking material fires. The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration worked collaboratively to develop the following safety tips, which primarily focus on safe storage and disposal of cigarettes:
• If you smoke, smoke outside.
• Whenever you smoke, use deep, wide, sturdy ashtrays, which should be set on something solid and hard to ignite, like an end-table.
• Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dowsing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
• Check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
• To prevent a cigarette fire, you have to be alert. You won't be if you're sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
• Smoking should not be allowed in a home where medical oxygen is used.
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