ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Fire Department says a family of seven was displaced Thursday after a fire at a West Village Place apartment likely caused by a discarded cigarette.

Ithaca firefighters responded to a report of a porch fire at about 3 p.m. Thursday. When firefighters arrived, they saw smoke coming from the center of the complex between Chestnut Street and Abbott Lane. A volunteer firefighter nearby was able to use two fire extinguishers on the fire, which spread into the home before he had to get out, the IFD said in a news release.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about 30 minutes.

Ithaca Police helped occupants at the scene while Cayuga Heights and Newfield Fire Departments and off-duty firefighters helped cover other emergencies. The Red Cross was helping the family, who the IFD said will stay with relatives.

No one was injured in the fire, but the IFD said “the outcome could have been far worse” and urges local residents to be careful to make sure smoking materials are fully extinguished before discarding them.

“If not for early notification and a quick response, this fire could have ended in tragedy,” the IFD said.

Photo courtesy of the Ithaca Fire Department.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.