August 3, 2018 12:00 pm
Updated: March 11, 2019 7:09 pm

Bob Layton: Let’s get serious about smoking-related fires

WATCH ABOVE: Cigarette fires have happened about 50 times this year, and more than 60 times last year. And still, it keeps on happening.

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It’s happened again: another huge fire caused by a cigarette in a planter.

READ MORE: $14M Blue Quill apartment fire caused by cigarette in potting soil: Edmonton Fire

Cigarette fires have happened about 50 times this year, and more than 60 times last year. And still, it keeps on happening.

READ MORE: Cigarette left in planter sparked fire that destroyed 2 Edmonton homes

Investigators are wisely not telling us which balcony the Blue Quill fire started on.

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Somebody might be upset. Listen — everybody should be upset.

Why are there no solid criminal charges available for starting a fire of this magnitude?

A resident could have been killed. A first responder could have lost their life.

But, no charges that actually work for putting a smouldering butt in a planter, because, supposedly it’s not a malicious act.

READ MORE: Charges could send message to irresponsible smokers whose cigarettes start fires: Edmonton fire chief

Look at the result — 90 units destroyed.

It’ll take years to get the place rebuilt, but no charges.

There is a bylaw against letting your dog bark at night, keeping people awake.

How about a fire that keeps people awake for days upset with their loss?

How about a bylaw making it illegal to use anything but a non-combustible ashtray on a balcony?

READ MORE: One cigarette causes $1M in damages in southeast Edmonton

A listener tells me he objects to hearing the cigarette was carelessly tossed into a planter. He says it was deliberately tossed into a planter.

I’m sure he thought it was out.

Whatever, I think there needs to be a law that works.

Let me know what you think.

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