A weekend fire that destroyed a condominium building in Cedar Rapids is blamed on cigarettes. Firefighters were called to the fire at 5805 Muirfield Drive Southwest just before 5 a.m. Saturday.
Greg Buelow is a spokesperson for the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. “One of the occupants was having a party and they had a clay flower pot that they discarded cigarettes into,” Buelow said.
Those discarded cigarettes smoldered for up to five hours. “The clay pot broke, the wooden deck started on fire, the fire went upwards along the siding, into the soffit and then spread along the roof,” Buelow said.
All 12 occupants of the two-story, four-unit condominium made it out safely. But, the building is considered a total loss and occupiable since the roof is gone.
Buelow places the damage estimate at over $1 million. He says the people hosting the party will not face charges as the fire was unintentional.