ONLINE UPDATE: Firefighters respond to deck fire

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On Wednesday, April 2, the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department responded to a house fire at 8 Water St.

Fire chief Frank Smith said two Wrightsville Beach trucks were dispatched at 3:40 p.m. and arrived on scene by 3:45.

An observer witnessed the fire on the exterior deck and alerted the tenant. After calling the fire department, they started dumping buckets of water on the fire.

“It was reported as a fire with flames and smoke showing,” Smith said.

When the first fire engine arrived on scene, responders saw it was a fairly small fire.

The most likely cause was improperly discarded smoking material, Smith said.

“There were several cigarette butts in shallow ashtrays on the deck,” Smith said.

He added that with the winds at the beach, he cautions people who are smoking outside to use deep, secure ashtrays.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire with water extinguishers within a matter of minutes.

“Windy conditions can really cause trouble with cigarette butts outside or with charcoal grills,” Smith said. “The ember in the charcoal can blow out very easily. When you combine either one of those ignition sources with windy days and wooden decks or pine straw landscaping, it’s a very easy way to start a fire.”

email kelly@luminanews.com

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