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Cigarette cause of apartment fire

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Columbus firefighters responded to a call of a residential structure fire only to learn that a discarded cigarette in a trash can had caused an apartment to fill with smoke, but no damage or injuries were reported.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Villa apartments 4101 Waycross Drive at 7:17 p.m. Saturday when Roger Cookson called 911 after noticing his apartment filling with smoke, said Lt. Mike Wilson spokesman for Columbus Fire Department.

The fire was out upon arrival. Firefighters used an electric fan to remove smoke from the building. The apartment’s smoke alarm was audible, but the building’s main alarm had not activated, Wilson said.

The situation could have been a lot worse because 90 of the apartment complex’s 99 units are occupied, some by disabled residents, Wilson said.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 1,000 people a year are killed by fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials, Wilson said.

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