KENNEWICK, WA.- NBC Right Now has uncovered what started a four-plex fire in Kennewick that left two units damaged Monday and how it could have been avoided.
Firefighters say it appears it came down to a cigarette butt and how it was put out.
Luckily, no one was injured in the fire off of North Cleveland Street.
However, did you know that careless smoking is estimated to be the number one cause of fire related death and injury in the nation, according to cigarette-litter-dot-org.
Kennewick firefighters say they've had several fires over the years that were caused by careless extinguishing of smoking materials.
"If you do smoke, you want to put the smoking materials when you're done in an approved ash tray. A flower pot or something like that isn't because the flower pot's potting soil could sit there. The cigarettes can smolder and catch fire in a couple hours," said Captain Nathan Rave with the Kennewick Fire Department.
Fire officials do say the safest place to smoke is outside of the home, but to use a sturdy ashtray filled with sand, not potting soil to collect ashes.
So, to avoid something like this from happening to your home; put out your cigarette butts and make sure they're all the way out every time.
Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash