ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Fire Department said an early Friday morning porch fire in Ithaca was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette — the second minor blaze with the same cause this week.

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Officials said in a news release that firefighters responded around 2:30 a.m. to a home at 209 North Plain Street after a passerby reported seeing smoke and flames on the back porch of the home.

Photo by the Ithaca Fire Department

The man who reported the blaze then knocked on the door to try to wake up anyone who could be inside.

Two people were found sleeping inside, unaware of the blaze, when firefighters entered the home to clear the residence. The fire was quickly extinguished.

On Monday afternoon, firefighters also responded around 2 p.m. to 111 Osmun Place.

Residents reported seeing heavy smoke coming from a second-floor porch.

Two women helped put it out with pans full of water and a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived.

In a statement, IFD said:

No one was injured in either of the fires and only minor damaged occurred at both. But the outcome could have been far worse. The Ithaca Fire Department urges residents to be careful with smoking materials and be sure that they are fully extinguished when done. Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in our country. If not for early notification and a quick response, these two fires could have ended in tragedy.

Photo by the Ithaca Fire Department

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.