Discarded cigarette linked to Burlington fire

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A lit cigarette butt is to blame for a house fire in Burlington Friday.

Crews responded to the four-unit rental home on Park Street just before 2 p.m. A woman who lives there spotted smoke down in the basement and called 911.

Burlington Deputy Fire Chief Peter Brown the fire could have been avoided.

"The cause was from a cigarette from a second-floor window that got lodged on a ledge of a window below-- started a fired in a wall of the building," Brown said. "It had been smoldering for a long time. Once it got large enough that the smoke entered the building, it set off the smoke alarms."

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Nancy Hoffman called 911. Hoffman is a New Yorker who has lived in Vermont for 20 years. She said seeing the smoke and all the first responders brought her back to a very painful day.

"Yeah, I haven't gotten over that. See, I start to cry," she said. "It's frightening because I grew up 15 miles outside of Manhattan, that was my home. So I don't like fire engines all these years later."

Hoffman said she is incredibly thankful that firefighters responded so quickly and save the house.

No word yet on how much it will cost to fix, but the damage is limited to that area of the house.