WATERTOWN  Cigarette ash is believed to be the cause of a fire this weekend at an apartment building.

City Fire Chief Dale Herman was aware the owner of an apartment that caught fire on Saturday had smoked cigarettes, and he confirmed they were the cause on Tuesday.

At around 4 p.m., trucks from the city fire department responded to Building 222 at Gabriel Courts for a fire originating in the first-floor living room in one of the apartments. The owner of the apartment had left for around 45 minutes before finding smoke in his home upon his return.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and knocked down the living-room blaze, Mr. Herman said. They could also be seen behind the building, using rods to knock-out windows to ventilate the heavy smoke accumulating in the second floor.

The investigation into the fire was ongoing on Saturday. The apartment owner had told police he smoked cigarettes, but fire officials were going to eliminate any other possible causes before making a determination.

On Tuesday, Mr. Herman confirmed the owner had inadvertently put ashes into a trash can before he stepped out, which ignited the fire. The damage to the apartment is relatively minimal, and surrounding units went unharmed, Mr. Herman said.

Also on standby at the scene were members with the Guilfoyle Ambulance Services, who were not needed to enter the apartment as there were no injuries.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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