A FIRE that decimated an Ararat property Thursday evening was sparked by a cigarette butt, investigators have found.
Country Fire Authority crews were alerted to the fire on Grano Street at 5.06pm, but a spokeswoman said by the time crews arrived the house was already “fully involved” and threatening neighbouring property.
Read more: Crews battle flames at Ararat property.
Tankers from Ararat, Moyston, Stawell, Smythesdale, Great Western and Beaufort attended and had the fire under control by 7.25pm.
No injuries were reported and crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent property or grassland.
Friday morning Country Fire Authority and Victoria Police investigators were on scene and determined that the blaze was caused by a discarded cigarette butt.
The fire was then exacerbated by hot and dry conditions.
“Country Fire investigators along with Victoria Police fire investigators have conducted an assessment this morning (Friday) of the scene,” Detective Senior Constable Gjalt Erkelens of Ararat said.
“They had a look at a number of factors and have ruled out the most unlikely factors.
“They came down to two options – one being that it was intentionally lit and the other that it was a discarded cigarette.”
Senior Constable Erkelens said that investigators were satisfied the fire wasn’t deliberately lit, and issued a warning to anyone discarding cigarette butts.
“If you smoke, discard it with a bucket in water,” he said.
“Cigarette butts are still a major cause of house and bush fires.”
He also commended the Country Fire Authority for its quick response time.
“The response time was very commendable,” he said.
“The CFA prevented it from spreading to a grass fire so that other areas weren’t impacted.”
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