TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka firefighters say a fire that sent flames though the basement of this house at 1515 Southwest Tyler early Monday morning started because of careless smoking.
"That's a fire that if someone could have taken the time to ensure that they were doing, that action safely, then we wouldn't have a fire," says Topeka Fire Investigator, Michael Martin.
However, Martin says this has become a reoccurring problem nationwide.
"There's over 90,000 fires, that are directly related to cigarette smoking, and you are looking at more than 500 deaths, 16,000 injuries, and over 600 million dollars in property damage," says Martin.
Martin says smokers should only smoke outside and must always use an ashtray.
"Before you throw those butts away, make sure they are doused in water, to ensure that they are completely out," says Martin.
Authorities say all 4 occupants inside this home exited safely. Martin says it's important to be alert and aware of your surroundings.
"And ensure you are taking all the precautions necessary to prevent a fire," says Martin.
Martin says it's also always important to have an escape route. Martin says always have 2 planned exits from your home. If you live in an apartment with only one door, he says purchase a ladder to help you escape from a window. He says Topekans should always make sure they have properly installed smoke detectors and make sure space heaters are turned off overnight.
A fire that started in the basement of this house at 1515 S.W. Tyler sent flames and smoke through the house around 1 a.m. Monday morning.
Authorities tell us four people were in the home when it caught fire. Three were located in the second story and needed help from the Topeka Fire Department to get out.
Authorities haven't identified the occupants, but 13 news has been told that a 27-year-old female and two men aged 26 and 60 were inside.
Another person that was in the house made it out on his own before the fire department arrived.
Officials say a sofa in the basement caught fire. They're classifying the cause as accidental associated with careless smoking.
Estimated loss is ten-thousand, five hundred dollars.