Butt in mulch starts a fire at BIA hotel

Posted March 19, 2010, at 11:46 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A carelessly discarded cigarette butt was cited as the cause of a small fire Friday afternoon at the Four Points by Sheraton Bangor Airport Hotel that prompted a brief evacuation of part of the hotel.

The cigarette butt landed in some mulch along one of the hotel’s exterior walls, causing the mulch to ignite, according to Assistant Chief Vance Tripp of the Bangor Fire Department.

Tripp said the fire then spread up into the insulation, burning 6 to 8 feet up into the wall before firefighters put it out. He said firefighters had to dig the smoldering insulation out of a section of wall.

Damage from the fire was estimated at $2,000 and was limited to the affected section of wall, Tripp said. No one was injured in connection with the fire, he said.

Tripp also said that the lack of rainfall in recent weeks has created dry conditions that are prime for unintentional fires. He reminded residents to dispose of smoking materials in a responsible manner.

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