Cigarettes and peat moss a dangerous mix

Smoking and peat moss continue to be an unnecessary and dangerous mix as fire investigators determine the cause of a patio fire on the North Shore.

A cigarette that was dumped into a patio planter box caused Monday morning's blaze at an apartment building on Tranquille Road, said Sheldon Guertin, Fire and Rescue's life safety educator.

Crews were dispatched at 6:06 a.m. and quickly extinguished the flames. Guertin said the tenant had tried to put the fire out using jugs of water.

There have been seven fires in the last two years caused by people dumping smoking material into planters containing peat moss, he said Tuesday.

"There should be none of these fires. They are 100 per cent preventable," said Guertin.

People think planters are full of dirt, but peat moss is made up of little bits of wood. Instead of putting out the smoking material, the flame is allowed to smoulder and eventually ignite, he said.

"We get a significant number of these. More than we should be getting," Guertin said.

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