Cloquet Area Fire District warns of the dangers of smoking

After one person was injured in what appears to be a smoking-related fire, members of the fire district are asking residents to talk to family and friends who smoke.

File: Cloquet Area Fire District
Cloquet Area Fire District Station 1. (Jamie Lund / 2020 file / Pine Journal)

Following a likely smoking-related fire over the weekend, the Cloquet Area Fire District reminded residents of the dangers of smoking in the home.

The fire district responded to a fire at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 13, at 810 Cloquet Ave. One woman, Nancy Carlson, was injured in the blaze. The fire crews forced entry into the apartment and found the residence filled with smoke and zero visibility. Carlson was treated by paramedics and transported to Essentia Health. CAFD officials did not know the status of Carlson's condition, said Sarah Buhs, public education coordinator for the Cloquet Area Fire District, Thursday, June 17.

The fire was contained to Nelson's apartment and quickly extinguished.

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Smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota, officials said in a statement. The district is working with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's State Fire Marshal Division to help reduce the number of smoking-related fire injures and deaths in the Cloquet area.

" This is a tragic situation. We do not want anyone else in our community to suffer through anything like this," Buhs said. "But you can help. We are asking family members and anyone in contact with older adult smokers to look in on them and help them be safe."

The district offers these tips to prevent smoking-related fires:

  • Smoke outside and extinguish cigarettes in a sturdy ashtray filled with sand or water.
  • Do not discard cigarettes in potted plants, leaves, mulch or other vegetation.
  • Do not smoke while on oxygen or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Do not smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used.
  • Carefully check under cushions and furniture before leaving a room where people have been smoking. Check for embers, cigarette bugs or matches.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Keep a watchful eye on elderly or disabled smokers, make sure they follow safety precautions.
  • Talk to family and friends about fire-related dangers of smoking.
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