The Fire Marshal in Manassas, Virginia is blaming a cigarette discarded in a planter for a fire that destroyed three homes and damaged five others.
Manassas Fire Marshall Francis Teevan says gusty winds and the fact that the homes are so close together contributed to the amount of destruction. He calls the blaze one of the largest residential fires ever in Manassas.
The fire began Thursday afternoon and quickly spread down the street, destroying three houses, damaged two more too badly to be inhabited and damaging three others. It took firefighters two hours to control the blaze.
Three people reported minor injuries from the fire. The Red Cross and emergency management officials are helping 11 residents left homeless.
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