WATERVILLE — Carelessly discarded smoking ashes were the cause of a fire at an apartment Saturday night at 9 John Ave., emergency officials say.

The fire started in the bedroom of the second floor apartment, according to Waterville Fire Capt. John Gromek. An ashtray was dumped and soon after a person started smelling smoke, he said, before noticing the fire.

Firefighters had the flames out in 15 minutes at the building on John Avenue, which is off West River Road, but the bedroom still sustained major damage. Smoke damaged the second floor, and water damaged the first floor, according to Gromek.

Gromek said people should remember to wet down ashes before discarding them to avoid starting damaging fires.

Three people were in the upstairs apartment at the time, Gromek said. One occupant, the building’s owner, Reggie Ferran, lived in the first-floor apartment. Ferran does have insurance.

While none of the occupants were hurt, one firefighter suffered a cut and had to get stitches, Gromek said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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