Fire sparks $600,000 worth of damage to 1st Fleet


1st Fleet is counting the cost of damages after a discarded cigarette butt sparked a fire to its Perth depot

By Ruza Zivkusic | April 11, 2011

Transport operator 1st Fleet is counting the cost of damages after a discarded cigarette butt sparked a fire to its Perth depot yesterday.

Four trucks and four trailers were destroyed in the blaze. The butt is believed to have been thrown by an employee of an adjoining yard, resulting in more than $600,000 worth of damages, 1st Fleet Managing Director Steven Brown says.

"The cigarette is believed to have been thrown from another company’s yard. There is a yard in between our yards that is vacant and they threw it into that yard and that caught fire and came across to our place and burnt our trucks," Brown says.

The fire is not being treated as suspicious by the Western Australia Police.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Allen Gale says fire fighters took more than five hours to extinguish the blaze.

"The fire was caused by a careless discarded cigarette in the designated smoking area which went into the dry grass and spread very quickly, which was pushed on by a breeze," Gale says.

A fuel tank located on site was saved by the fire fighters, he adds. The eight-year-old depot, which has 30 employees, was empty at the time of the fire.

"It’s a bit dumb to throw a cigarette," Brown says.

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