Redmond residents help douse apartment fire

Bucket brigade limits damage; fire traced to smoker's carelessness

REDMOND, Ore. - Some northwest Redmond residents got an early wake-up Friday when a fire traced to a smoker's carelessness broke out in their apartment complex, but their quick attack with buckets of water knocked it down before firefighters arrived, officials said.

The fire, which was reported shortly before 5 a.m., burned through a wall of a first-floor apartment at the Cottonwood Place Apartments at 273 NW Greenwood Avenue, said Redmond Fire Marshal Traci Cooper.

The first crews to arrive at the two-story apartment complex found a smoldering fire on an apartment's first-floor deck, being tackled by several residents with buckets of water, Cooper said. The fire first was spotted by an occupant living above the apartment involved, she added.

The fire apparently was sparked by a cigarette discarded in a decorative planter that was placed on a wooden storage cabinet against an exterior "stub" wall separating the apartment units' decks, Cooper said.

The cigarette caused the planter's contents to ignite, she said, which in turn caused the cabinet and wall to burn as well.

Losses are estimated at $1,000 to the building and $200 to the contents.

Cooper urged residents to properly dispose of cigarettes in non-flammable containers, noting that cigarettes are still a leading cause of fires.

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