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Cigarette starts fire at Turlock home
fire truck
The City of Turlock Fire Department is hoping to hire three more firefighters in the next budget cycle. - photo by Journal file photo

Discarded cigarettes ignited a blaze on a balcony of a Turlock residence Sunday morning.

The residents were able to escape the home without injury and a quick attack from the Turlock Fire Department kept the blaze from spreading through the second story and into the attic, said Turlock Fire Capt. Kevin Tidwell.

The fire was reported at 1:29 a.m. Sunday in the 300 block of W. Olive Avenue.

The first firefighters to arrive at the scene saw the flames growing on a second-floor balcony and beginning to encroach upon the interior through an open door.

“Operating in the offensive mode, Turlock firefighters made entry inside the home and made an aggressive stop on the fire, keeping it from spreading into the adjacent bedroom and attic areas,” Tidwell said in a news release.

It was determined the fire was started by cigarettes that had been discarded on the balcony.

The Turlock Fire Department reminds the public to use the following safety recommendations when discarding cigarettes:

- Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.

- Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.

- Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is a good option.

Turlock City Fire Department responded with three engines, Squad 32, and a battalion chief for a total of 13 personnel. Turlock Irrigation District and PG&E responded to assist with securing utilities and an AMR unit responded to provide medical care to possible victims and provide firefighter safety. Turlock Police Department assisted with traffic control while Turlock Rural Fire District provided city coverage during the incident.