Lincoln fire investigators say a cigarette started Tuesday's fire at a condominium. The fire caused $175,000 in damage to a number of units.
The steady breeze made it hard for firefighters trying to knock down the blaze. It happened just after noon, Tuesday. LFR responded to this fire at Fieldstone Condos just off of 27th street.
The fire was quickly upgraded to a second alarm. Crews on scene say they believe this windy day helped fueled this fire, making it so large and helping it spread.
Fire inspectors determined the cigarette was disposed of into a plastic container.
Battalion Chief Jeanne Pashalek says, "Plastic is combustible, when that cigarette is not completely extinguished, whatever the receptacle is, it can smolder in there, the plastic melts, the heat spreads."
Chief Fire Inspector Bill Moody adds, "Smoking material disposal is imperative, get that thing out, make sure it's out, don't use plastic, don't use flower pots."
Fire officials want to stress the proper disposal of cigarettes because these fires don't need to happen.
Moody says, "Smoking fires are the most preventable fires that we can prevent from happening because it's common sense."
Tammy Adcock and her three kids were upstairs when her daughter noticed smoke.
"My daughter came to me and she said there's smoke outside," said Tammy. "I said no there's not, and she comes back a minute later and says you have to come with me there's something outside. By then this was all engulfed in smoke and huge billowing flames and I grabbed the baby out of the crib we all went running out of the house down the stairs. I was about ready to fall asleep because I wasn't able to sleep the night before, so she saved us. I already brag about her a lot but she's a pretty smart kid."
The downstairs apartment was also damaged. Two men were home at the time, one of them was sleeping and says when his roommate came to wake him up and warn him about the fire, he saved his life.
The two had to escape the home by jumping out a window, they say the front door was blocked by flames 6 feet high.