Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Rochester Fire Department is highlighting a concerning trend they’ve seen connected to multiple fires last month. 

KROC-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

None of the fires were fatal, however the fire department says they were started by one of the leading causes of deadly fires in Minnesota. They warn “careless smoking" can start a fire hours after materials are put out.  

Rochester firefighters say crews responded to five structure fires in May that have been determined to have been started by smoking materials. Officials say five fires in a single month caused by improperly disposed of smoking materials is a cause for concern. 


The Rochester Fire Department says proper use and disposal of smoking materials is critical in keeping fires from starting. They are offering residents the following tips to ensure they don’t start a fire at their home: 

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. 
  • Discard cigarettes in a deep, sturdy ashtray filled with water or sand.  
  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation like mulch or leaves. 
  •  While many people think it is safe to extinguish cigarettes in flower pots or other planters, the ingredients in potting soil can be very flammable. 
  •  Do not smoke while using or in the presence of medical oxygen. 
  •  Do not smoke while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you are feeling overly tired.  
  • E-cigarettes also pose a fire risk and have been known to catch fire while being used, charged, or transported.

The fire department says fires from improperly discarded smoking materials can start after a person falls asleep or leaves their home, which makes them particularly dangerous. The fire department did not say which fires in May were started by smoking materials.

LOOK: Explore the iconic buildings from every state

From colonial homesteads to mansions by the ocean, iconic buildings define every state in the country. Stacker compiled this list of notable examples from historic and government reports and news articles. 

More From KROC-AM