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Smokers urged to take care of finished butts

Firefighters have issued a warning after a discarded cigarette sparked a fire in the Rose Green area.


West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has issued a reminder to residents to take extra care when they are throwing away cigarettes.


Two crews from Bognor Regis fire station were called to a fire between two properties early last Friday afternoon.


When they arrived, they found a fire which involved rubbish, a fence and gates.


There were concerns the fire might have spread to the roof of one of the properties. Two further fire crews were mobilised to the scene. Early indications suggest the fire was started accidentally by discarded smoking materials.


Incident Commander James Mackay said: “Swift action by the initial crews knocked the fire back and stopped the spread to the inside of the roof.


“The wall, end of the building and fence were damaged on a neighbouring property, and the affected property was damaged by heat.


“The occupiers of both properties were checked over by paramedics and colleagues from Sussex Police attended to assist with road closures.


“Fire emergency support from the Red Cross attended to offer assistance to the occupier of the affected properties, with the last crew leaving around 9pm.”


The fire and rescue service’s head of prevention, Nicki Peddle, has urged residents to take extra care when smoking.


“We would always encourage people who must smoke to do so outside. It can be safer than smoking indoors,”she said.


“But it is vitally important that they ensure their cigarettes are fully extinguished before throwing them away.


“This could be as simple as putting the cigarette butt into a cup of water.


“This reduces the risk of the discarded cigarette smouldering and setting something else on fire.”

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