Cigarette Blamed for April Blaze at Iowa Burger King

June 3, 2009

Fire investigators believe a cigarette is to blame for a fire that severely damaged a Burger King restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in April.

Insurance investigators initially thought the April 24 fire was caused by a methane gas explosion. Methane gas is often found in sewers.

But the Cedar Rapids Fire Department announced May 31 that the blaze was caused by a cigarette extinguished on an outside wall of the restaurant. The fire originated at that spot and spread through the building’s interior.

The fire department says the fire was unintentional.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the owner’s insurance company is conducting a separate inquiry.

The restaurant owner has said he plans to rebuild.

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