On Sunday, July 31, the Perry Fire Department were requested at the Quail Run Apartments on 2902 Iowa Street by caller Alexander V. Jaimes-Yanes regarding a third floor deck fire.
After the 2:00 p.m. call, the department left for the scene at 2:06 p.m., arriving on scene at 2:10 p.m.
The first officer on scene completed a walk around of the building and according to the Perry Volunteer Fire Department Run Sheet, it was determined by the Perry Police that the fire was on the deck of Apartment 26.
The Perry Police entered the apartment building and discovered that Apartment 26 was locked. In order to see if any victims were inside the premise, the Perry Police made a forcible entry and the fire was was extinguished. Damage included the exterior of the building, which affected the wooden deck and the siding of the building surrounding the deck.
According to the Run Sheet, the fire remains under investigation, but the initial indications include the discovery of a plastic container with sand which was used to dispose cigar and cigarette butts.
Apparently, a butt had not been extinguished, causing a burn in the side of the container, later setting the container on fire. The plastic melted onto the wooden deck, which caused the deck to catch fire and the burn spread to the siding on the side of the building.
Sixteen fire personnel responded, none of which were injured.
“Plastic is a petroleum product its kind of like burning oil or gas,” Chief of Fire Department Chris Hinds said. “If they don’t put it out in the sand and it rolls over in the side of it and we have a bit of a breeze that blows over, the plastic will start burning or melting.”
In the future, if interested in creating a makeshift ashtray, Hinds advises to stick with materials that are non-flammable such as a metal coffee can or a steel bucket.