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Fire investigators say 'improperly disposed' cigarette led to Regina apartment blaze

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The investigation of a fire that heavily damaged an apartment complex in south Regina over the weekend has concluded.

Regina Fire and Protective Services (RFPS) determined the cause of the massive blaze was a cigarette which was improperly disposed of.

RFPS Deputy Chief Gord Hewitt spoke to reporters Monday afternoon.

“Often times, people will discard a cigarette into a container that includes dirt or Pete moss which actually doesn’t put out the cigarette, in fact it can continue to burn for a couple days in that,” he explained.

Residents living on the 200 block of Centennial Avenue were suddenly awoken by flames Saturday night. At around nine, RFPS responded to a fire at multi-unit residence in the area.

Justine Rombaut lives in one of the neighbouring complexes and she shared her experience with CTV News.

"The flames were over eight feet high and the three people that I know in the building, one of them was out eating and the other two had to smash the window to get out. He had quite a lot of blood loss,” she recalled.

Only two injuries were reported from the fire – both coming as a result of that escape from the window.

“Both individuals were injured by escaping fire from the second floor unit. Like I said, non-life threatening but significant injuries from doing so,” Hewitt added.

Over 50 residents were displaced due to the fire, some finding help from friends and family while over 50 people were assisted by Mobile Crisis.

Hewitt also took a moment during the press conference to show the proper way to dispose of cigarettes.

So if you put a cigarette in sand or crushed gravel in this type of container, it will eliminate the fire or change of further ignition,” he explained.

Out of the 16 suites in the complex, two were deemed completely destroyed.

According to RFPS, residents living in the rest of the units on the block have been able to make their way back home.

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