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Avoiding Smoke Fires in Alpena

ALPENA, MI. – Some house fires are freak accidents while others can be avoided.

A report from Mlive in 2017 says an estimated 17.7% of Alpena County adults are smokers. Even something as small as a lit cigarette can lead to severe damage and house fires.

According to Community Risk Reduction Cpt. Andy Marceau, the city of Alpena has a track record of fires of this nature. “A structure on Avery Street filled with smoke. We determined that careless extinguishment of a smoking material is what started the fire. The owner, by accident, was smoking in the bathroom and it appears that the ash or the butt fell into the trashcan and started the bathroom on fire.”

In 2020, six fires were caused due to careless handling of smoking materials. “I can’t stress this enough. This really worries me as the CRR of the city of Alpena. So things people can do is to smoke only outside. I have seen porch fires also” said Marceau. “Get off your porch and put them in a container of water or maybe in sand. I know it is hard in the winter time, but get them in there.”

The Alpena Fire Department said these fires are avoidable and require smokers to handle their cigarettes responsibly.