Captain: Cigarette butts start fire outside restaurant

Oil City Fire Department and Oil City police respond to a fire outside Casey's Restaurant and Lounge on North Seneca Street. (By Jim Meyer)
Staff writer

Firefighters were dispatched Monday afternoon to a fire caused by smoldering cigarette butts under an awning outside Casey’s Restaurant and Lounge on North Seneca Street, according to Oil City Fire Department Capt. John Rodgers.

The fire, reported at 3:22 p.m., was caused by cigarette butts catching fire in a plastic container near a side door, Rodgers said.

“The cigarettes caught fire, melted down the plastic jug and caught a plastic shelf on fire,” Rodgers said. “Then, that caught a door jamb on fire.”

No injuries were reported and no structural damage resulted from the fire.

Jim Swires, of Rouseville, alerted patrons after he noticed the smoke while riding his motorcycle past the restaurant.

“I thought that’s not normal, so I stopped and ran in,” Swires said. “It was blazing pretty good until they got the fire extinguisher after it.”

Around 3:45 p.m., patrons looked on from the parking lot as firefighters continued to spray water on the door to ensure no sparks could rekindle.

Business didn’t seem to be slowed by the incident, as several cars arrived with potential customers asking if the establishment was still open.

The fire department cleared the scene at 4 p.m., Rodgers said. Oil City police assisted at the scene.