A discarded cigarette started a fire at the Rose Apartments and caused the complex’s sprinkler system to flood the fourth floor, according to the Roseburg Fire Department.
Just after 1:30 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a water alarm at the apartments in the 800 block of Southeast Stephens Street, Roseburg. When they arrived, they found water flowing from the upper floors, into the stairwell and out of the front doorway.
When firefighters searched the building they discovered remnants of a fire that had likely started inside an upstairs closet where a used cigarette had been tossed into a garbage bin, according to a press release.
The apartment complex had an automatic sprinkler system installed and when it sensed smoke from the fire it activated and extinguished the fire. The sprinklers caused water damager throughout the building, including several rooms and common spaces, but quickly doused the flames and prevented it from growing, said Fire Marshal Brian Jewell.
“This is a great reminder that sprinkler systems can not only save lives, it can reduce damage to property if functioning properly,” he said in a press release.
Jewell said it’s important to check wastebaskets and cushions in rooms where people have been smoking and look for embers that are still burning.
“Cigarettes can smolder longer than most bedding materials can upholstery can resist igniting,” he said.