Downtown Needles, CA: Small fire at Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store caused by cigarette.
At around 11:40am PT Saturday morning, a customer spotted smoke coming from the corner window wall area inside the furniture section of Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store located at 839 Front Street in Downtown Needles, California.
San Bernidino County Fire Department, San Bernidino County Sheriff’s Department, and Baker Emergency Medical Service rushed to the emergency call as volunteers at Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store were seen keeping customers clam and evacuated customers from the store.
A Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store Volunteer used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire area well other Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store Volunteer clear everybody out of the thrift store and called 911.
ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez was covering an unrelated news story when he also seen smoke coming from inside the furniture section of Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and after customers were out of the thrift store, took a picture of where the smoke was coming from.
After the small fire was put out, ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez ask San Bernidino County Fire Department Captain Steve Lasiter for more information regarding the fire and what may have caused it.
“We determine that it wasn’t electrical in nature and we think that possibly somebody may have sat a cigarette bud on the ledge of the window which with the winds that were having today may have caused the smolder affect and the flue to catch fire,” said San Bernidino County Fire Department Captain Steve Lasiter.
A cigarette bud was found outside on the ground and next to the window of the thrift store.
“I think its accidental at this point; obviously not electrical; we determined the there were no electrical lines in that seal at all; considering the age of the building, we thought it was possible that something could have been hidden under there from years pass, but we determine that there wasn’t anything there once we exposed everything,” said San Bernidino County Fire Department Captain Steve Lasiter.
Firefighters had to cut some of the wall as well as remove the whole front window to get a view of what is burning and put out the fire.
“We have minimal damage to the building from the fire itself; we had to tear the building seal of the window apart so we can located the seed of the fire and make sure it was out,” said San Bernidino County Fire Department Captain Steve Lasiter.
Everybody inside the thrift store made it out safely and nobody got hurt during the fire.
If you are putting out your cigarette buds, “You don’t wanna to put out a combustible item against another combustible item,” said San Bernidino County Fire Department Captain Steve Lasiter who advices people to use an ashtray and making sure it is out and never leave a cigarette burning to go inside of a building.
As of this moment, Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store will still be open on Tuesday as schedule providing caring and helpful services to the people of this great community.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for the latest information regarding this news story.