Last updated: March 16. 2013 11:37PM - 332 Views
MATT HUGHES



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WILKES-BARRE – A dropped cigarette was to blame for a blaze at a North Washington Street row house early Saturday morning, firefighters said.


City firefighters responded at 2:21 a.m. to a fire in second floor bedroom of 297 N. Washington St., the leftmost unit of three connected row homes, said Fire Capt. Robert Fannon.


A tenant told firefighters she dropped a lit cigarette that set a bed sheet and mattress box spring on fire. There was a delay in contacting firefighters, as the tenant and another resident unsuccessfully attempted to put out the fire using buckets of water, Fannon said.


Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, then opened walls to ensure the fire had been put out completely. The operation was completed at 3:31 a.m.


There were no injuries reported. Fannon said the cause of the fire was ruled accidental.


The American Red Cross chapter is assisting the residents in finding temporary housing, he said.


The unit suffered extensive fire damage to the bedroom, where the fire began, as well as smoke damage to the second and third floors and water damage on the first floor. The center row house at 295 N. Washington St. suffered some water damage to the first floor, while the rightmost property, 293 N. Washington St., was not damaged.


The center unit was occupied, but residents were allowed to return, Fannon said. He was not certain if 293 N. Washington St. was occupied.

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