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Cigarettes Still One Of Major Causes Of Fires In Wichita, Department Chief Says

Laura Chimera
flickr Creative Commons

Wichita Fire Department officials say careless cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of fires in the city--and some of the fires have been deadly.

Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says the Wichita Fire Department always emphasizes the importance of smoke alarms and early detection of smoke to help people successfully escape a house fire. He says careless cigarette smoking continues to be a part of Wichita’s residential fire problem.

Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
Fire Chief Ron Blackwell.

“In fact there was a fatal fire not long ago that was related to careless handling of smoking materials. The secondary issue for us here has to do with fires that originate in and around the kitchen, and most of most our challenging or most difficult fires tend to happen when people are sleeping," he says.

Blackwell says fires between midnight and 4 a.m. in Wichita are often fatal. There has been one fire-related death so far in 2016. Typically, Wichita averages between 4 to 5 deaths a year due to house fires.


Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.