Small fire Sunday, April 1, in Avon originated in ashtray on deck of residence |

Small fire Sunday, April 1, in Avon originated in ashtray on deck of residence

Daily staff report

AVON — At approximately 2:15 Sunday, April 1, crews were dispatched to a multi-residential structure fire in the 200 block of Nottingham Road in Avon. A passerby on Interstate 70 reported visible flames on the deck of a top-floor unit. Crews were on scene in minutes. The fire was contained to a corner of the deck and some of the building's siding and was quickly extinguished.

The two tenants were not home at the time of the fire; however, crews did safely evacuate two dogs from the residence. The fire appears to have originated in an ashtray on the deck and may have been spread by gusty winds.

Vail Fire and Emergency Services, the Avon Police Department, Eagle County Paramedic Services and Vail Public Safety Communications Center assisted.

According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2011, an estimated 17,600 smoking-material home structure fires caused 490 civilian deaths (19 percent of all home structure fire deaths), 1,370 civilian injuries and $516 million in direct property damage. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home.

If you smoke outside, firefighters remind you to put your cigarettes out in a can filled with water or sand. Use ashtrays with a deep, wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like an end table.

Smoking materials should be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in a trash can, and never throw a cigarette out the window of a vehicle.