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Wichita official warns of fire danger after two costly weekend fires

The Wichita Fire Department told media at the scene that heavy winds helped drive an apartment fire at Aspen Park in west Wichita on Saturday afternoon.
The Wichita Fire Department told media at the scene that heavy winds helped drive an apartment fire at Aspen Park in west Wichita on Saturday afternoon. The Wichita Eagle

After a weekend fire caused over $1.5 million in damage, Wichita fire officials reminded smokers to properly dispose of their cigarettes.

Two fires over the weekend in Wichita were caused by people carelessly discarding their smoking materials, Wichita Fire Department Capt. Kelly Zane said Monday.

A cigarette tossed away on a second-story deck started a fire at Aspen Park Apartments at Central and Tyler on Saturday, Zane said. Part of the roof collapsed, and the building sustained $1.4 million in damage with a loss of $150,000 of contents inside.

A house in the 1500 block of South Palisade caught on fire after a cigarette started a fire on a deck on Friday, Zane said. It caused about $11,000 of damage.

There were no arrests or charges because an accidental fire is not criminal, Zane said.

"We're just trying to get the word out there to be careful this time of year," Zane said. "The conditions are really dry and windy. Be careful where you discard your cigarettes, not to do it in mulch or around your house with the dry grass."

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