STERLING – Careless smoking caused a fire on the 700 block of Broadway Avenue Saturday, Sterling Fire officials said.
Lt. Jason Williamson said the fire was started accidentally when a cigarette was placed into a full cigarette dispenser, igniting the other cigarette butts. The dispenser melted, setting fire to a bench and the porch, he said.
Sterling firefighters found the porch fully engulfed when they arrived after being dispatched at 10:53 a.m. to the wood, two-and-a-half-story home, Williamson said.
The blaze was under control within 10 to 15 minutes after fire crews arrived, he said.
No injuries were reported. Williamson wasn’t sure of the monetary value of the damage.
The porch was destroyed, Williamson said, and the first floor suffered mainly smoke damage, but no water damage.
In addition to Sterling, the Rock Falls, Dixon city, Milledgeville and Morrison fire departments responded. The Dixon Rural fire chief was on the scene, and the Dixon Rural Fire Department was on standby, Williamson said.